Kastina State governor, Aminu Masari has disclosed that his administration is negotiating with the abductors of students of Government Science Secondary School,Kankara.
Speaking with Channels Television on Wednesday night,the governor said that the negotiation with the abductors is being carried out on behalf of the government by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN).
He,however, added that the government will not pay cash to the kidnappers.
He said he is working with the security agencies to ensure that no attempt was made to change the location of the children by the bandits.
“The Commissioner of Police and Special Adviser on Security are discussing with the leaders of Miyetti Allah, who are also discussing with those that abducted the children.
“This is the way we are talking to them. I am waiting for the feedback on their discussion. We are doing all we could to get the children back but what we will not do is to negotiate money with the bandits.
“We should be more proactive with the information given to the security agencies. Everybody should be more involved by providing reliable information and not misleading information that would endanger the lives of the security operatives.
“I am a chief security officer without security apparatus. No governor is a true chief security officer but that is our constitution. We should do something about it but right now I have over 300 students to look for. I am concerned, more concerned than everyone else except perhaps the parents. I am accountable here and hereafter.
“It is the responsibility of the security agencies to do what they are supposed to under the constitution of the Federal Republic oF Nigeria. I am quite aware of my responsibility and I will support these security agencies till they get each and every one of the children. I am the leader; I am not shying away from my responsibilities,”Masari said.
The governor also stated that none of the missing students is dead, quashing fears about the safety of the boys.
“The children are alive and we have not received any report that anyone had fallen sick. So we assume that all is well with the children. I was in touch with at least two of the students that escaped on Saturday. I was also in touch on Monday with two that came back,” he said.
Masari refuted the claim by Boko Haram that its members abducted the pupils, saying that “from the information available to us, this was conducted, executed by local bandits that are known to all of us.”
He added: “These are bandits that are roaming the forests of Zamfara and parts of Kaduna State. So far, this is the information we have. Whatever role any other terrorist group must have played, we are yet to confirm it.
“But with regards to this abduction, we have not seen any direct involvement of Boko Haram or ISWAP.”