Garba Shehu says ‘repentant bandits’ played a role In the release of Kankara Schoolboys

By Chinenye Festus:-

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu said those who condemned the rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram Terrorists should have a rethink as they played a major role in the release of over 300 schoolboys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina.

Shehu made this known on Tuesday when he appeared on the Channels Television breakfast program ‘Sunrise Daily’.

He said although no ransom was paid, there were negotiations with the abductors after the troops of the Nigerian Army encircled the Zamfara forest where the hostages were held.

These were his words:
“All of the leading actors involved in the release of the children said no ransom was paid.

“The governor of Zamfara State, who had a policy of engagement with the bandits leading to the surrender and renouncement of bandits, used repentant bandits to gain access to those that were in the forest and they had them (schoolboys) released. All the leading actors in Zamfara and Katsina state said no ransom was paid,”

Shehu also said that a lot of effort was put together so as to rescue the Kankara Schoolboys, he mentioned that the rescue operation involved joint efforts of security agencies including the Nigerian Army, police among others who all acted promptly.

“The security services, the Army, police, intelligence agencies showed good judgement and capacity by promptly responding to the kidnap of those students and then locating exactly where they were being held.

“Having done that, they quickly mobilised and surrounded the entire place to ensure that they do not go out and they do not come in. So, whatever followed after that is to reap from the gain which has been done.

“The military identified where they were less than 24 hours after the kidnap and waited for the process of the negotiation and at the end of it, everyone is happy that it ended the way it did,” he said.

You would recall that on Friday, December 11, over 300 students were abducted by gunmen who invaded the Government Science School, Kankara in Kastina State.

The incident occurred at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari had travelled to Daura, his hometown in Katsina for a one-week private visit.

The boys stayed seven days in the abductor’s den but were finally released by the Kastina State government.

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