The Federal Government has declared it won’t pay ransom to secure the release of abducted students and teachers of Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this on Saturday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ monitored by The Nation.
He was reacting to speculations and reports that the Federal Government was prepared to exchange the abductees for huge ransom.
But when asked on Saturday whether the government had paid ransom or was considering the payment of ransom, the minister said, “No”.
He said:“We employ kinetic and non-kinetic (measures), you don’t throwaway invitation to engage but the overall strategy you keep to your chest.”
The Minister also said the government won’t tolerate any form of criminality in any form.
He said:“Bandits all over the world work with psychology of people. Deliberately, they target women and children because this is what will attract a lot of global outcry. That is exactly what bandits do all over the world.
“The government has put in place, all along, various strategies to contain banditry, to fight insurgency, to fight kidnapping. Some of these measures are kinetic, some are not kinetic. We didn’t get here overnight and that is why it is difficult to get out one day.
“Criminality in any form will not be tolerated by government. At the same time, government has a duty to look at the underlining causes of some of these criminalities in other to address them.
“I was in Minna with my colleagues, the Ministers of Interior and Police Affairs, the IG, and the National Security Adviser on Wednesday to get firsthand information on the abduction of these Kagara schoolboys. I can tell you that as at today that the government is on top of the matter.”