Kaduna Gov’t Denies Hiring Private Negotiator To Free Kidnapped 287 Pupils

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The Kaduna State government has denied hiring a private negotiator to free over 200 primary school pupils abducted by bandits in Kuriga community of Chikun local government area of the State. 

LEADERSHIP reports that armed bandits stormed a joint Secondary and Promary School in Kuriga village of the State and kidnapped about 287 pupils and teachers on Thursday morning.

A media report on Saturday (not LEADERSHIP) claimed that the Kaduna State Government had hired a private negotiator to talk to the kidnappers to secure the release of the kidnap victims.

But, a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor of Kaduna State, Muhammad Lawal Shehu, a copy of which was sent to LEADERSHIP on Saturday, said the state government has neither hired a negotiator nor contemplated making such move.

Lamenting the news report, which he described as mischievous, Shehu said it was capable of jeopardising efforts made by the state government and security operatives in ensuring the safe return of the kidnapped children.

He urged media organisations to always validate information from the state government before going public.

The governor’s spokesman said, “the attention of the Kaduna State Government has been drawn to an outrightly mischievous and false report in the Punch Newspaper of 9th March 2024 stating that the Kaduna State Government has hired a private negotiator to facilitate the safe return of school children abducted in Kuriga community, Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State.

“We wish to state categorically that the Kaduna State Government did not hire any private negotiator, neither are we contemplating make such a move.

“The hiring of a private negotiator only exists in the fertile imagination of the Punch Newspaper reporter. The Kaduna State Government has a clear policy on non-negotiation with terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements.

“We urge members of the Press to be cautious in the way they craft and publicise their stories on security in order not to jeopardize the efforts of Government and security agencies in degrading criminal elements laying siege to our communities.

“If the Punch Newspaper had made efforts to contact the Kaduna State Government, they would have gotten the correct information. The Press are our partners in progress. Our doors are always open,” the governor’s spokesman stated.


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