– Niger state is still gripped by fear over the recent Kagara abduction
– Over 25 schoolboys and 15 teachers were whisked away on Tuesday, February 16
– A source close to the Niger government said division among bandits is delaying the release of the schoolboys and their teachers
A top government official in Niger state has revealed that division among the bandits is the major impediment to the release of the Kagara Government Science College (GSC) schools boys and their teachers.
Speaking with The Punch, the official, whose name was not given because he was not authorised to speak on the development, said some bandits are not on good terms with a gang leader who the government is negotiating with.
Kagara darted into the spotlight after suspected bandits on Tuesday, February 16, stormed the government college, shot sporadically, with one student feared killed and several others including the teachers abducted.
The abduction is coming months after a similar plot played out in Katsina state where schoolboys were abducted in Kankara local government.
On Friday, February 19, there was controversy over the release of the schoolboys. Governor Sani Bello Abubakar of Niger, however, cleared the grey areas, saying the victims are still with their abductors.
“They are negotiating among themselves – the good and the bad. They are trying to convince them, and I believe they will do it,” he said.
They will be released soon – Bandit leader speaks
The bandit, Dogo Gide, who controls the southern part of the Zamfara forest disclosed this when he met with the officials of the Niger state government. According to him, although the abductees are not in his camp, he will negotiate with his fellow bandits to hasten their release.
In the same vein, Aisha Babangida, daughter of the former military head of state and prominent statesman Ibrahim Babangida, has urged the federal government to “reevaluate the root causes of kidnapping and address them.”
Reacting to the abduction of college students in Kagara by suspected bandits in a post on her Instagram page on Thursday, February 18, Babangida said she shared the pain of the victims.
Rahaman Abiola is a result-oriented journalist and content writer with a firm grip of over 5-year corporate experience stranding diverse roles in digital & traditional media and social media communication.
A published literary writer, freelancer and public commentator, he has written over 100 essays covering diverse issues on economy, politics and current affairs, entertainment and leadership published in virtually all notable Nigerian national dailies and digital media in Nigeria.
He is a graduate of English Literature, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Follow him on Twitter via @ShugabanR.