By Salim Yunusa
The Niger State government has said it has arrested some of the bandits who abducted students of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyyan School, Tegina in Rafi Local Government of the state.
Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso told journalists in Minna while giving an up-to-date report on the abduction on Tuesday evening that “some of the bandits are in our custody.”
He spoke shortly after presiding over the over two hours security meeting at the government house in Minna. The bandits’ arrest is coming less than 48 hours after the schoolchildren were kidnapped.
Ketso who didn’t state the number of bandits arrested, also said the security agents are already on trail of the rest of the bandits with a view to rescuing the children.
The deputy governor, however, ruled out payment of any ransom but assured that the abducted children will be rescued the same way the Kagara Science College Boys were rescued.,
“We don’t pay ransom to abductors. We are trying to negotiate to see how we can bring them back safely.
“But first of all, we are trying to get in touch with the parents of those abducted because some of them came from other states to acquire the Islamic education. The government does not know their parents or where they came from.
“We are still taking the census of the children to know the exact numbers that were actually abducted. Nevertheless, the government will do everything possible to ensure their safe rescue.”
Ketso also conceded that the abductors of the schoolchildren took the government by surprise, highlighting that due to the incessant attacks on schools in parts of the state, the government through a proactive measure, has temporarily converted all boarding schools in the state to day schools.
In addition to this, he pointed out that “the government made sure that every primary and secondary school in the state has a semblance of the security team that can respond immediately.”
Meanwhile, more communities have come under attack from armed bandits in the last 24 hours. At least, four persons, mostly traders, were killed and several others injured in the attacks.
The bandits in their large number attacked Companin Bobi in Mariga local government area of the state around 6:00 am on Tuesday and dispossessing residents of their belongings including foodstuffs and other valuables