The Niger State government has revealed that it is negotiating directly with the abductors of 27 students of the Government Science College, Kagara, their teachers and family members, for their release.
According to the Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Matane, there is no time fixed for the abductees to be released because negotiation is still ongoing with the bandits who abducted them.
“If anyone tells you he knows when the schoolboys will be released that person is lying; it may be today or tomorrow; nobody can say; we are still negotiating.” he said during an interview with Thisday.
Going further, Matane noted that during the negotiations, the abductors of the students presented their demands directly to the state government.
He added that the alleged high-handedness of men of the local vigilante was one of the reasons the bandits gave for taking up arms.
“They said that the vigilante members were killing their people and that government should stop this,” Matane said.
Matane went on to state that the bandits also complained of their neglect in the execution of the agricultural programmes of the government.
According to him, the bandits complained about the destruction of their houses and the killing of their cattle through aerial bombardments by the military, saying that they complained that they had lost their means of livelihood.
In conclusion, Ahmed denied reports that a popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi was involved in the negotiation.
According to him, Gumi only prepared the platform for the negotiation but is in no way involved in it.
“Gumi only prepared the platform for the negotiation. He is not involved in the negotiation” he said