Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has disclosed that the Federal Government is not going to pay ransom to secure the release of the abducted pupils and members of staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger state.

The minister said this on Saturday, February 20, 2021, while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily.’

There have been unconfirmed reports that the federal government had paid N800m to secure the release of the victims that were recently kidnaped from their school.

But when asked if the FG had paid ransom or is willing to pay to get the victims released, the minister said, ‘No.’

Signpost of Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State [Niger State Government]
Signpost of Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State [Niger State Government]

He further 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,” he said.

“And that’s what happened during the Daptchi girls abduction and the Kagara school boys abduction. But the question is what does government do?”

Mohammed disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has made efforts to stop banditry, kidnapping and insurgency in the country.

He said, “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 underlying causes of some of these criminalities in order 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 a firsthand information on the abduction of these Kagara schoolboys. I can tell you that as at today the government is on top of the matter.”

On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, bandits kidnapped 27 pupils and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.