No Amnesty, No Ransom, Buhari Rebuffs Bandits
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will not entertain or succumb “to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments.”
He also urged state governors planning to reward bandits with money and vehicles to desist, warning them that the policy might boomerang disastrously.”
His spokesman, Garba Shehu quoted the presidet in a press release on Friday to have said “latest abduction of hundreds of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State as inhumane and totally unacceptable, sending out a strong warning to bandits and their sponsors.
Shehu said Buhari vowed that “no criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government,” adding that, “the only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.”
“We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits,” he said, stressing that “our primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed.”
The president was said to have warned the bandits: “Let them not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government. They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.”
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