In the wake of the Abuja, Kaduna train attack, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has insisted the state’s position on not paying ransom to bandits still stands. The Kaduna governor warned that the state will not pay ransom for kidnapped victims from the attack, even if the terrorists seek that from the government.
He made the assertions while briefing state house correspondents on Friday, after updating the President on security developments in his state.
El-Rufai, who was sober about recent happenings in Kaduna said Buhari had reassured him that drastic measures were being taken to check the activities of terrorists and bandits in the state and beyond.
The governor revealed that the attack on the train was carried out by Boko Haram terrorists in collaboration with some bandits operating in Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto Niger, and Kebbi States.
He said security agencies have been making efforts to rescue victims of the attack, from the hands of their kidnappers.
He said, “The President assured me that necessary steps would be taken on the matter and this thing will be brought to an end in a few months, and security agents are already carrying out surveillance around where these criminals are and, by the grace of God, they’ll be rounded up.
“But as you know, the government will always take precautionary measures to safeguard the lives of citizens, therefore, except the victims are rescued unhurt, the air force and ground troops will not be able to confront the criminals. So to avoid any colossal damage, the captives have to be freed first.”
El-Rufai confirmed that the gunmen had contacted the families of their captives but are yet to request a ransom.
He said, “Well, the families of those kidnapped have been contacted while some of the captives themselves have called their loved ones, saying they’re doing well and they’re being taken care of. But the gunmen haven’t shown any sign of collecting ransom.
“These ones aren’t the usual kidnappers but members of Boko who are collaborating with bandits. So we were thinking they’ll ask for a huge ransom from the state government, not the families of their victims.
“So far, they’ve asked for ransom from just one of the 5 families that were contacted. As far as the Kaduna State government is concerned, we’ve not changed our stand on payment of ransom, so, even if they seek for that from us, we’ll not pay because we are not ready to do so.