The Secretary to the Niger State Government, SSG, Ahmed Matane, has revealed that parents of abducted Islamic school children, Tegina, Rafi Local Government stopped the state from dispatching Special Security Force into the forest to rescue victims.
Matane, who stated this in an interview in Minna, said the government had wanted to use the special security corps in the middle of June, 2021 to enter the forests and physically confront the bandits, but for pleas by families of abductees.
According to him, when the government came up with the idea, the parents begged out of fears that launching an attack on the hideout of the Bandits could result in the loss of lives of the children.
The SSG explained that the operation was halted because the parents came and begged to be allowed to exhaust all the peaceful means of securing their children.
He also noted that though the state government is pained by the current development on the Kidnaped kids, its policy of no payment of ransom to bandits in the state remains.
“On the Tegina Islamiyya school children, although the government wanted using the special security corps it launched in mid June to enter the forests and confront the bandits; however, the parents of the kids begged that they would not like to lose any child.”
Niger govt denies ignoring parents of abducted Islamic school pupils
“This type of operation as you know will end up in collateral damage. We know where those bandits are. We are monitoring their movement. Even though the government is pained by the situation, it is the firm policy of the government not to pay ransom,” he stated.
Matane further said great prospects have been achieved in the fight against bandits and insurgents in the state as the military and other security agencies were consistently gaining the upper hand.
“Places like Rijau, Kontagora, Mariga, Shiroro and Munya are now enjoying great respite because the government was not complacent or sleeping over the security threat. And, because of the gains we are recording, farmers are now in their farms and market days are being observed because we have built strong security architecture around these general areas.”