Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The federal government said yesterday that it employed other means but did not pay ransom to secure the safe release of the 344 schoolchildren kidnapped from
Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this at the Radio House, Abuja while briefing
editors and senior journalists on how the 344 schoolchildren were rescued, however did not deny the fact that governemnt sought the help of foreign bodies.
The minister while responding to questions from journalists insisted that while no ransom was paid for the release of the pupils, a lot of backchannel negotiations took place.
“No money changed hands. There were a lot of back channel negotiations. There were a lot of negotiations which took place in this type of case anywhere in
the world,” Mohammed told the journalists.
The minister, however, refused to mention the particular security organisation that participated in
the release, the foreign bodies that
were collaborated with or the type
of backchannel negotiations that
“I am not in the position to say those in particular that participated. But I said, “We appreciate the contributions of all friends of Nigeria, all patriotic Nigerians. I also said there were a lot of backchannel negotiations. And that is as far as I am ready to go,” he said.
Asked about what was actually exchanged, the minister said,
“There is no ransom paid. Secondly, I don’t know how many of you followed this sad event. The truth of the matter is that our security and intelligence
agencies were completely on top of the game. 24/7 our platforms both online and others were monitoring the location and the movement of the insurgents.
It was a case where they had no choice but to surrender.”Mohammed also insisted that the claim laid to the kidnap of the boys by the boko haram terrorist
group was a blatant lie.
He said, “As in the case of boko haram, boko haram was seeking relevance. They were trying to appropriate the handiwork of the bandits. So the issue of boko
haram does not even arise in Kakankara.
“A lot of fake videos were being sent around by boko haram to give the impression that they were still relevant. No. This is not the first attempt by them to try and reap from the bandits. They
tried before now and it didn’t work. Do not have any doubt in your mind. One, boko haram is weakened,boko haram is seeking relevance, and that is why they
try to appropriate and give the
impression they are still a potent
“As to whether there was foreign
collaboration or not, I think I have
been very clear. I said, we thank all
friends of Nigeria.”
Asked if the military had arrested the bandits, the minister said, “I said security
and intelligence agencies and they were on top of the matter. I never said the military. There is nowhere in the world that they don’t negotiate with terrorists
or criminals. Here we have 344 children. We don’t want a case where the operation would be successful and the patient would die.
“What would be our glory if we should kill all the terrorists or those that were in that place and we lost the kids? We won’t be here today? What is important today
is to rescue the children. Fighting terrorism, fighting insecurity is an ongoing process. There are both kinetic and no-kinetic approaches.”
The Information minister also described the reaction of some Nigerians over the kidnap of the Kankara students as “shameful”.He stated: “The reactions
in certain quarters to the Kankara incident was shameful. Some Nigerians went as far as denigrating their government and country in the most uncouth and irresponsible manner.
“They simply threw decorum to the wind and allowed their emotions to take a better part of them. When disasters and
tragedies strike, people come together. We hope the naysayers have learnt their lessons.
“And we hope those who have started trading and politicking with the hashtag
‘BringBackOurBoys’ can now go home, as our boys have been brought back, even before their dubious campaign could take off.”
He stressed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will do
everything possible to prevent a recurrence of these school abductions.
He further noted that the government has moved with speed and determination each time we have faced the challenge
of school abductions, and the results attest to this.
“Each time this has happened, we have always accepted responsibility, rather than being in denial. And that has made all the difference in whether or not
the abducted school children have been recovered. We will not relent until all those who remain missing in Chibok and Dapchi and reunited with their families,” he said.
He noted that the release of the schoolboys was a testament to the importance that the current administration attaches to the security and safety of all Nigerians.
“There is no government in the world that will not face the challenges of security at one time or another. No government
in the world is immune to terrorist attacks. What stands any government out is the way and manner it responds to such challenges,” he said.
The Information minister stressed that “each time this has happened, we have always accepted responsibility, rather
than being in denial.
“And that has made all the differenced
relent until all those who remain
missing in Chibok and Dapchi and
reunited with their families,” he added.
He said that the federal government is most grateful to the security and intelligence agencies for this great feat.
“We also wish to thank the governments of Katsina and Zamfara States, and indeed all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria,”he added.
Don’t Be Distracted By Your Ordeal, PMB Tells Students Meanwhile, President
Muhammadu Buhari yesterday called on the rescued students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, not to be distracted from
their studies following their experiences with bandits.
The president made the call when he addressed the affected students at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Katsina.
The president who narrated how he went through some difficulties early in life said the situation did not stop him from
accomplishing his missions.
He said, “You students are very lucky, concentrate on your studies, don’t allow your terrible experiences in the hands of those heartless bandits distract you
from your studies. Put behind all
the sufferings and concentrate on
“The Federal Government will continue to strengthen security around all schools across the country.”
Buhari said the abduction of the students was a deliberate attempt to test the will of his administration, adding that the
government would continue to ensure the safety of lives and property of all citizens.
He also challenged security officials to always put in the the fear God while carrying out their responsibilities of protecting citizens.
He also thanked the president for the roles he played in the rescue of the students.
According to him, there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the incident
On his part, Governor Masari who officially received the 344 abducted students of GSSS Kankara said the experience was part of their journey to livelihood.
The Governor, while receiving the 344 students from the Brigadier General Commanding 17 Brigate, W. Idris, commended the combined joined forces for their resilient efforts in the rescuing the students.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to thank the efforts made by the entire security apparatus in the state and the
country.“To the parents, let’s thank
Allah for his Mercy. We have never given up our hope to pray and we will continue to pray until normalcy is returned to our state and country. I want to also use this
opportunity to thank members of
the press for their support in this
very sad and challenging times
which we face since the abduction
date, exactly 7 days now.
“For those who work in ensuring their released, we say thank you. Above all we thank Allah for his mercy.
“For the students, this should be part of your history as part of your journey to livelihood. I’m sure this would be permanently part of your mind.”
Selfish Politicians Politicizing Security – Kogi Gov
Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, alleged yesterday that some selfish politicians in the country were the ones frustrating the war against insecurity
championed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, they politicise
insecurity for selfish political and
economic gains.Congratulating the president, Kastina State government,
parents and families of the rescued schoolboys, Bello also lauded the Nigerian Army for their swift response.
The governor charged the heads
of security agencies in the country
to act professionally and expose the persons sabotaging security efforts to the public so as to make them face the full wrath of the law and be known for who they truly are by the Nigerian people.
He noted that the actions of those involved was targeted at pitching Nigerians against the administration of President Buhari and the All Progressives
Congress, portraying both as a
bad government and political party.
Governor Bello affirmed that the security situation in the country post 2015 cannot
be compared to the current situation being experienced in the nation as many of the recent occurrences have become
political plots to label President Buhari’s government as not being effective.
Governor Bello also admonished his colleague governors of either the APC or
the PDP to rise up to the occasion
and ensure that they secure their
individual state which would translate into a secured nation, adding that anyone belonging to any political party that is causing mayhem must be exposed and
dealt with divisively.
He stated that similar individuals were also involved in playing politics with the lives of the citizens of the country under
the guise of COVID-19 and were
already scheming to import vaccines and enforce people of the country to be vaccinated against their wish.
The governor reiterated that another form of lockdown would cripple the nation’s economy and have huge negative effect on the less privileged in the country,
warning that if leaders cannot not give the people what was due to them, they should not deny them of their freedom and livelihood.
He challenged anyone who is ready fault his claims to speak up as such persons would be confronted with proven facts
It would be recalled that three days ago, ace broadcaster, Prince Gbenga Aruleba and the President, Nigeria Union of
Journalist, Chief Chris Isiguzo lauded the governor, sayin he was a courageous and forthright leader who stood his ground
and demystified the COVID-19 politics.