No more talks with bandits, ransoms channeled into arms, says Nigerian government

ABUJA (Agencies): The Federal Government has explained its decision to cease all negotiations with bandits and kidnappers, saying that ransoms are used to procure arms.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, revealed this while addressing the press at the close of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

When asked for government’s reaction to the viral footage showing some kidnapped students in Kaduna State being tortured by kidnappers, Nwajiuba said the government was doing its part to rescue the students as soon as possible.

He said, “Truly speaking, it is disheartening anytime any of our students are taken at any point, I can assure you that the Federal Government is doing all that it can.

“Insecurity at the school level, you may understand, stems from insecurity around the area. Before we had Chibok, there was Boko Haram in the area. It is the success of the military in more or less incapacitating Boko Haram in the North-East that led to some level of insurgents in the North-West.”

Nwajiuba said that since the military cannot go into the forest and start shooting at everyone they find, bandits had taken advantage to use some citizens as human shields.

He added that the government would no longer negotiate with bandits, saying ransoms were being re-channeled into the procurement of arms.

He said “We are constrained to stop negotiations with bandits because we’ve seen that every time they get any payment, it leads to further escalation, because they rearm and they go back.”

He assured Nigerians that as distressing as it was, government was on top of the matter and would keep doing all it could do free the kidnapped children, as well as keep other students safe.