President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.
The President disclosed this in a social media statement on Friday evening, in reaction to the kidnap of students in Zamfara.
“Our primary objective is to get all the school hostages safe, alive and unharmed,” Buhari said.
Our primary objective is to get all the school hostages safe, alive and unharmed.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) February 26, 2021
He added that the FG had the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operated; however, the Army was limited by the possibility of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.
“A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors,” he said.
The President said bandits and terrorists should not entertain the illusion that they were more powerful than the government.
“They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or resolution.
“We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he added.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that armed bandits kidnapped 317 female students at the Girls Secondary School, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday.
- The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Abutu Yaro, said, “We are doing our best along with all sister security agencies, members of the vigilantè group and the state government to get to the bottom of this matter.”