11. The Defence Headquarters has claimed that troops rescued the over 300 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina, abducted by bandits on December 11.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has said that no ransom was paid for the release of the abducted Kankara schoolboys in Katsina State and the Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State.

Mohammed made this known on Channels Television’s “Sunrise Saturday” programme while explaining some government strategies to curb the rate of abductions in the country.

“All these stories about ransom, are conspiracy theories,” the Minister said.

On Tuesday night, gunmen attacked and abducted about 42 students and staff (along with their family members) of Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State. One student was also killed in the incident.

Reacting to the incident, the Minister, who had on Wednesday visited the state with a Federal Government delegation to assess the situation, said the government was putting various strategies in place to curb the menace.

“Government has put in place various strategies to contain banditry, insurgency and kidnapping. Some of these measures are kinetic, some are non-kinetic,” Lai Mohammed said.

He, however, ruled out the option of a ransom being paid for their release.

When asked: Will a ransom be part of the government’s strategy? the minister said: “No.”

He continued: “I can assure you that the government is on top of the matter –but it is not a subject matter for television discussion.

“We didn’t get there overnight, that is why we can’t get out in one day.”

According to the Minister, bandits and terrorists worked with the psychology of people and they deliberately attacked mostly women and children because they believed it would attract global outcry.

“That is exactly what bandits do all over the world,” he said, adding that, “Solidarity in any form will not be tolerated by this government.”

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