Federal Govt Not Negotiating With Bandits In Zamfara, Badaru Replies Gov Lawal

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The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, has denied allegations that the federal government was secretly negotiating with bandits in Zamfara State without the knowledge of the state government.
The Minister stated this in reaction to the statement credited to Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, alleging that the federal government was negotiating with the Zamfara terrorists to secure the release of abducted persons.
He dismissed the claim, pointing out that the “Federal Government is working assiduously round the clock to ensure that the girls and others return home.”
The Minister, in a statement by the acting Director, Public Relations, Ministry of Defence (MOD), Attari Hope, on Monday, expressed confidence that the joint security task forces working round the clock would get the students rescued.
The Minister said: “the allegation is false and misleading as the Ministry has not mandated anybody or group to negotiate on behalf of Federal Government.”
He explained that President Bola Tinubu has given marching order to the Military and other security agencies to ensure the release of those that were abducted in the State.
He said that the order of Mr. President has started yielding result as 13 of the abducted students and three others regained their freedom on Monday, September 25, 2023, adding that “This feat was achieved through the professional efforts of the Military.”
He, however, condole with families of the girls and others that were abducted saying: “I share in your pain and strongly condemn this reprehensible act carried out by suspected bandits.”
The Minister and his Minister of State counterpart, Dr. Bello Muhammed, once again reassured Zamfara citizenry and Nigerians of the progress being made for the quick return of the abducted female students and others of Federal University Gusau.
Badaru, while condemning the act, said that federal government was doing everything possible to secure their release.
He extended his heartfelt sympathy to the parents, the academic community, and the entire citizenry of Zamfara State for the tragic abduction.
On his part, the Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Bello Muhammed Matawalle, who was the immediate-past governor of the State, also condemned the attack in all totality and called on the nation’s dedicated security forces to intensify efforts and deploy every available resources to secure the safe return of the abducted students.
He said that all hands must be on deck in securing the release of the abducted students.
“As part of President Bola Ahmed Tinibu’s eight point agenda of strengthening national security for peace and prosperity, I condemn and vow to secure the release of the abducted students,” h stated.
While also assuring the citizens of the State, Dr. Matawalle said that air and ground components of the military have already been massively deployed within the state as every measure will be taken to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.


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