Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has debunked the news making rounds on the release of the victims abducted at Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.
Daily Trust had reported how armed men broke into the school in the wee hours of Wednesday, abducting staff and students.
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But on Friday morning, there were many reports on social media that the victims had been set free.
However, at a press conference at Government House, Minna, the state capital, the governor said there is no truth in the report of their release.
He spoke after meeting with Sheik Ahmad Gumi, who has been making efforts to get the victims rescued.
A total of 27 students, nine teacher, three non-teaching staff and nine family members were whisked into the forest during Wednesday’s attack.
Gumi had stormed the forest to appeal to the armed men to release the victims.
A source in his delegation had told Daily Trust that the Kaduna-based cleric met with a bandit leader known as Dogo Gide and other top commanders.
The source said Niger government, which initially ruled out payment of any ransom to secure freedom of the victims, has agreed to dialogue with the armed gang.
The source added that based on the discussions with the bandits, those in captivity will soon regain freedom.
When he addressed reporters shortly before Governor Bello spoke, Gumi said he had a fruitful meeting with the bandits.
“The outcome was very positive because we have warring factions. Each faction is saying they have their own complaints and grievances. There is hope that we can resolve this. I want to recommend that government should do to them exactly what they did to the Niger Delta militants and give them a blanket amnesty. Then if anybody will continue, we will deal with him.”