President Muhammadu Buhari says his government has the capacity to contain banditry.
Reacting to the abduction of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State, Buhari said his government has not gone all out against illegally armed groups because it does not want a situation where captives will be used as shields.
- 22 shot dead at Zamfara gold mine
- Witness: Bandits Woke Zamfara Schoolgirls From Sleep, Asked Them To Pray
Armed gangs had abducted over 300 students from the school in the wee hours of the day.
The incident, which happened at a time when students abducted at Kagara, Niger State, have not been released, sparked an outrage.
But speaking in a statement Garba Shehu, his media aide, issued on his behalf, Buhari said his primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed.
“The only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement,” he said.
“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.
“A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.”