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FG Confirms No Ransom Paid For Kaduna School Children’s Release

Daud Olatunji

The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed that no ransom was paid for the safe release of 137 pupils kidnapped from Kuriga, Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

Speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, emphasized that the government remained steadfast in its commitment not to negotiate with kidnappers.

 He reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on refusing to yield to ransom demands.

Idris expressed gratitude for the role played by security services in ensuring the safe return of the abducted children.

 He assured the public that efforts were underway to identify and apprehend all those involved in the abduction, emphasizing that they would face the full weight of the law.

The abduction occurred on March 6 when armed assailants on motorcycles raided the school, sparking widespread condemnation from both domestic and international quarters, including UNICEF.

Contrary to earlier reports suggesting a higher number of abductees, a statement released by Major General Edward Buba,

 Director of Defence Media Operations, clarified that 137 pupils were rescued through a collaborative effort between the military and local authorities in Zamfara State.

The involvement of Kaduna-based Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who offered to mediate with the abductors, raised questions about the government’s approach to engaging with such individuals. 

Minister Idris underscored that while the government welcomed constructive suggestions from any source, individuals like Sheikh Gumi were not exempt from scrutiny or accountability for their statements and actions.

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