President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the kidnappers in Zamfara that his administration will “not fall for” its blackmail tactics in kidnapping and demanding ransom.
The president in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the abduction of over 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State, as inhumane and totally unacceptable.
While appealing to state governors to review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, Buhari warned that such policy might boomerang disastrously.
He said “This administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments.
“No criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government”
He added that the only thing standing between the security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.
“We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits,” Buhari said,
“A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.
“Let them not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government. They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution,” Buhari added.