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 today Wednesday February 17, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Senate in swift reaction today Wednesday February 17, 2021 asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security without further delay.
The red chamber made the call following a point of order by Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), on the abduction of students and staff.
Musa said the terrorist who whisked their victims away were dressed in military uniforms.
He said the actual number of students abducted was not known but that the school had over 1000 students.
The Senator said security agencies had explained that they were on the trail of the criminals.
The Senate demanded the implementation of its ad hoc resolution on security and urged the combined team of military and police to set up an operation to destroy criminal camps across the country.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi, also from Niger State, said the kidnappers and bandits were emboldened by the successes being recorded in the state in recent time as about 100 people had so far been kidnapped in the state.
He said the forest from the FCT which extends to Niger up to Zamfara State was being used by the criminals.
He said the fact that the bandits have invaded Niger State was an indication that the safety of lives and properties of FCT residents is being threatened.
Senator Bima Enagi, also from Niger State, declared that the Buhari regime was incompetent to handle security challenges in the country.
He said, “We need to amend the constitution so that governors should be chief security officers of their states since the government at the centre had failed to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians.
“The Federal Government is busy giving palliative instead of creating employment, thus aggravating insecurity.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, described the kidnap of the students as unfortunate.
He, however, said the security agencies had challenges with personnel and funds.
He said, “Abduction of students from school happens in the northern part of Nigeria.
“With incidences like this, parents would be scared to take their wards to school, and the efforts of the past and by present leaders at providing education would be defeated.
“Service chiefs have to secure the schools and have to carry the states along.”
Following the development, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the President has directed the Armed Forces and Police to ensure immediate and safe return of all those abducted from Government Science College, Kagara.
He said the President has also dispatched to Minna, the state capital, a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials and other stakeholders.
Shehu announced this in a statement titled, “President Buhari condemns school abduction in Niger State, dispatches security officials to the state.”
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.
“President Buhari has assured all of the support of his administration to the Armed Forces in their brave struggle against terrorism and banditry and urged them to do all that can be done to bring an end to this saga, and avoid such cowardly attacks on schools in the future.”
Shehu also qouted the President as saying that his prayers are with families of the victims of the attack as he condemned “as cowardly the attack on innocent school children.”