President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest abduction of hundreds of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State, and describing it ‘as inhumane and totally unacceptable.
President Buhari sends a strong message of warning to bandits and their sponsors that his administration will not succumb to blackmail by those who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.
The president declared that no criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government explaining that the only thing standing between the nation’s security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.
According to a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the federal government was emphatic that the government has the capacity to deploy massive force against terrorists in the villages where they operate, but for the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.
The statement stated that for now the primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed.
President Buhari noted that “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.”
He warns that the bandits should not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government or mistake its restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness
The President appealed to state governments “to review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that the such might boomerang disastrously.”
He however, advised states and local governments to be more proactive by improving security around schools and their surroundings.