The Niger State government after one month the pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina were abducted, has revealed that it knows the location of the pupils.
However, the government has said it is bidding its time and still negotiating with the bandits, adding that time will tell if more drastic steps will be taken to rescue the pupils from the bandits.
The Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane disclosed this in a chat with reporters in Minna, the state capital.
According to him, the government is not yet resorting to military force as negotiation is still ongoing. He emphasized that government will not pay ransom to the bandits.
“We know the location where they (pupils) are; we are very careful of any untoward situation; we do not want to hurt the children while resorting to military operations,” Matane said.
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Matane further disclosed that government may end up taking kinetic action towards rescuing the children if negotiation is not yielding results, adding that the governor has put up a joint security operation that is ready to rescue the children safe when the time arises.
Matane further explained that the government’s negotiation with the bandits include the bandits staying away from banditry and take up a legitimate source of livelihood without facing prosecution as well as releasing the abductees without harming any of them.
He assured the parents that the government will rescue the children safely but will not bow to the payment of ransom to any bandits.
“The government shares in the grief of the parents and it understands that they want the government to take immediate action. The government is aware of the need to rescue the children safely, while time is of the essence but we say no to payment of ransom,” he said.
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