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The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, has said his administration will not pay ransom to kidnappers.
Bello said this following the abduction of some students and staff of Government Science College in Kangara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State in the early hours of Wednesday.
In recent months, NewsWireNGR recalls that, states like Zamfara and Katsina state Governments have paid ransoms to kidnappers after hundreds of school boy were abducted, only recently, the mastermind of the Katsina abduction was in the Government House in Zamfara surrendering weapons and flanked by politicians and the Nigerian Police.
Late Tuesday, large numbers of gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed the Government Science College (GSC) in the town of Kagara in Niger state before hauling students into a nearby forest, a government official and a security source said.
“Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” said the official, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.
“One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the Governor has ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit ravaged areas of the state.
The Governor said the action is necessary to save the life of the students as the areas have already been taking over by bandits.
He said this after a brief meeting with heads of security agencies in the state at the Government House, Minna on Wednesday.
Bello urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy all necessary mechanisms to help in containing the situation as it is now out of hand.
In response to the incident, the Presidency through a statement isued by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, revealed that a team of security operatives have been dispatched towards the rescue of the abductees.
The statement read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari has received reports of the brazen attack on Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, following which a yet to be ascertained number of staff and students have been abducted by gunmen.
“Following these reports, the President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure immediate and safe return of all the captives.
“The President has also dispatched to Minna, Niger State a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the College.
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