El-Rufai Doubles Down On Refusal To Pay Ransom To Kidnappers

Gov. Nasir-El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Again, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that his administration won’t offer ransom to kidnappers, adding that doing that would mean surrendering to criminals.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that bandits on Monday killed two students of a private institution, Greenfield University, in Kaduna, days after three of such students were killed.

Also, at least 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna, are still in captivity 47 days after their abduction due to the no-ransom policy of the El-Rufai government.

However, in a statement titled, ‘Surrender to criminals is not an option- KDSG’ on Tuesday, the governor argued that the payment of ransom has not curbed criminality in the country.

“Several states sought to negotiate their way out of the problems by talking to bandits, paying them money or offering them amnesty. This has not worked and has only encouraged the criminals to press ahead for a surrender of the public treasury to them. That is clearly not in the public interest,” he added.

El-Rufai, however, regretted the recent “kidnaps and killings of students from tertiary institutions in our state, and we sympathise with their families with whom we share the aim of the safe return of all the students. We mourn the dead students and we offer our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased”.

“The ruthless and heartless resort of the kidnappers to murdering these young persons is part of their effort to further their blackmail and compel us to abandon our ‘no-ransom, no-negotiation’ policy. Are people bothering with the consequences of state surrender to hoodlums, or is the continued politicization of security challenges not going to make all of us ultimately victims of the insurgents?

“The fact that criminals seek to hold us by the jugular does not mean we should surrender and create an incentive for more crime. In today’s Nigeria, it has become fashionable to treat the unlawful demands of bandits as worthy of consideration and to lampoon people who insist that outlaws should be crushed and not mollycoddled or availed the resources they can use to unleash further outrages,” he stated.

THE PUNCH

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