Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, insists that he would not pay any ransom to bandits to release abductees in his state.
The government has been making negotiation with the bandits to release the abducted 27 Government Science College, Kangar, and 15 others. Still, the state government said the abductees must be released unconditionally.
Secretary to the Government of Niger State (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, who is part of the team negotiating with the bandits, said the bandits are demanding N500 million (estimated to be $1.3m) and also the release of their men who security agencies have arrested.
Bello said his stand on not paying a ransom to the terrorist is based on realizing that the ransom paid is used to purchase more arms that will later be used to terrorize the community.
He further states that he’s ready to resettle the bandit if they surrender their weapons and return back to normal lives.
Bello, in an address with the press in Minna on Friday afternoon, said the abductees had not been realized, but They could be released in a matter of hours or days.
“At the moment, there is no additional information apart from the one we have at hand. Our priority is to make sure we bring back the students safe, things are speculated or rumored, but we cannot work with these in situations like this,” he said.
Meanwhile, Intel has confirmed that the location of the abductees has been found where they are kept hostage at the Dutse-Magaji forest in the Rafi Local Government Area of the state.
The forest has served as the meeting point between the bandits and popular Islamic cleric Sheikh Gumi and some government officials where they have had dialogues.