Niger governor visits Kagara, says victims will return safely
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State over the killing of one of the students, identified as Benjamin Habila, by armed bandits and the abduction of 27 surviving students and 15 others including teachers and non-teaching staff.
Governor Sani Bello, who specifically commiserated with the family of the student that was killed during the invasion, assured the relations of the kidnapped victims of their safe return as the government was on top of the situation.
“Our priority right now is to get the kidnapped students and 15 others, released safely back to their respective families, as well as the release of the passengers on board an 18-seater bus on the fleet of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) who were also abducted on Sunday unharmed,” he said.
He, however, regretted that kidnap for ransoms has become a daily occurrence in the state and in parts of the country and called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts and employ a new strategy to checkmate the menace.
According to him, “Payment of huge sums of money as for the release of abducted ransom is not part of the state government’s policy as obliging to the bandits’ demands will only but empower and emboldened them with the resources to purchase more sophisticated arms and ammunition.”
The governor added that he was open to any other form of negotiations including giving a new lease of life to the bandits who may choose to abandon their criminal tendencies and embrace the positive and humanistic lifestyle.
He expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the swift response assuring that he would remain constantly in contact with the presidency on the security issues in the state until it is rid of these miscreants.
The governor directed that the school be secured and rehabilitation work carried out on its structures while the management of the school should keep monitoring the students.
Earlier, Dan’asabe Ubaidu, the Principal of the College narrated how the incident occurred to the Governor and his Entourage and the number of students that became victims to the armed bandits.
Ubaidu said that the 15 other abducted victims were staff of the college and their relatives comprising of four male, four female and seven children.
Governor Sani Bello, in conjunction with his Deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, members of the State Executive Council and high-profiled security officers were part of the visitation.
The College, established in 1969, presently has a total of 650 students.
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