Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said he will never pay ransom to bandits even if they kidnap his family members.
The governor said this in a radio chat on Friday in Kaduna to corroborate his government’s policy of not negotiating with bandits.
Mr El-Rufai had said bandits are at war with Nigeria and there is no other way to approach the current insurgency but for security forces to take the war to the bandits and recover forests where they are occupying.
In his current remarks on Friday, Mr El-Rufai said he had warned his family members to be careful to avoid being abducted. He said he also told them he would never pay a ransom for their freedom, should any of them get into the hands of bandits.
“I mean it and I will say it again here. Even if my son is kidnapped, I will rather pray for him to make heaven instead, because I won’t pay any ransom.”
Speaking on efforts of his government in securing the release of the students kidnapped at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, in March, the governor said the government would keep exploring other ways to get them back to their families but stressed that the government is “absolutely not paying ransom.”
He said the state government will keep exploring those other means until the students are released.
Mr El-Rufai has been under pressure from the parents of the students, other concerned persons and groups to negotiate with the bandits for the release of the students.
The state governments of Katsina, Niger and Zamfara were believed to have negotiated with the abductors for the release of hundreds of students kidnapped from schools in the states.
The federal government too was also believed to have negotiated with the abductors of students from a girls’ school in Dapchi, Yobe State in an incident in which the terrorist-kidnappers withheld one of the students, Leah Sharibu, allegedly because she refused to renounce her faith, one of their conditions for the release of the students.