The Federal government has debunked claims that it mandated certain persons to negotiate with Zamfara bandits on its behalf.
The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, and his minister of state Bello Muhammed Matawalle, debunked the claims made by the Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal,
While speaking on the kidnap on Tuesday, the defence ministers have said allegation is false and misleading as the ministry has not mandated anyone or group to negotiate on behalf of the Federal Government
In a statement through his spokesman Sulaiman Bala Idris, on Monday, Lawal had alleged that some federal agencies were secretly negotiating with the bandits terrorising the state without his knowledge.
“Governor Dauda Lawal wishes to call on the federal government to clarify and investigate the actions of some unscrupulous elements sabotaging the ongoing fight against banditry in Zamfara. The Zamfara State government has received reports of how some federal government delegations met with different bandit groups in Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Munhaye, Ajjah, Bawo and Bagega. We urge the federal government to take swift action by terminating the ongoing negotiations with the bandits in Zamfara, as it undermines progress so far,” Lawal’s statement had read
Speaking further on the the kidnap of the Zamfara varsity students on Friday, the ministers reassured the people of the state and the country of the progress being made for the quick return of the abducted female students of Federal University, Gusau.
They expressed confidence that the joint security task forces were working discreetly round the clock to ensure the students are successfully rescued.
While condemning the act, the Defence minister, Badaru, said that the federal government was doing everything possible to secure the release of the students.
Badaru extended his sympathy to the parents, the academic community, and the entire residents of Zamfara State for the tragic abduction.
He also tasked the nation’s security forces to intensify efforts and deploy every available resources to secure the safe return of the abducted students, saying that all hands must be on deck in securing the release of the abducted students.
“As part of President Bola Ahmed Tinibu’s eight point agenda of strengthening national security for peace and prosperity, I condemn and vow to secure the release of the abducted students,” Badaru said.
While also assuring the citizens of the state, the Minister of Defence for state, Matawalle, said air and ground components of the military had been massively deployed within the state and as every possible thing would be taken to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.
He explained that President Tinubu had given marching orders to the military and other security agencies to ensure the release of the abducted students.
He assured the public that the President’s order had started yielding results, as 13 of the abducted students and three others regained their freedom on Monday. He added that the feat was achieved through the professional efforts of the military.
He also condoled with families of the girls and others abducted, while condemning the kidnap.
“I share in your pain and strongly condemn this reprehensible act carried out by suspected bandits,” he said.
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