The government of Niger State has said it is currently negotiating directly with the kidnappers of 27 students of the Government Science College, Kagara, their teachers and family members, for their release.
Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government, made this disclosure during an interview with Thisday.
Recall it was reported that Bandits dressed in Military uniforms stormed the school on February 17, killing one student and abducting 27 others.
During the interview session, Matane said there is no time fixed for the Kidnap victims to be released because negotiation is still ongoing with the bandits who abducted them.
“If anyone tells you he knows when the schoolboys will be released that person is lying; it may be today or tomorrow; nobody can say; we are still negotiating.”he said
He added that during the negotiations, the bandits brought forward their demands directly to the state government. He alleged the high-handedness of men of the local vigilante was one of the reasons the bandits gave for taking up arms.
“They said that the vigilante members were killing their people and that government should stop this,” Matane said, adding that the bandits also complained of their neglect in the execution of the agricultural programmes of the government.
He also disclosed that the bandits complained about the destruction of their houses and the killing of their cattle through aerial bombardments by the Nigeria Army, saying that they complained that they had lost their means of livelihood.
He played down reports that a popular Islamic cleric, was involved in the negotiation. According to the SSG, Gumi only set the table for the negotiation but is in no way involved in it.
”“Gumi only prepared the platform for the negotiation. He is not involved in the negotiation.”he said