Uba Sani, a senator representing Kaduna Central at Nigeria’s National Assembly on Thursday, July 15, 2021 revealed that Kaduna State government deliberately allowed the management of Bethel Baptist High School to enter into negotiations with the terrorists who abducted over 100 students of the school.
This is a U-turn by the Northwestern state government that has maintained a no negotiation with ‘bandits’ stance over the time.
Authorities confirmed that 121 students of Bethel Baptist High School were abducted in an early-morning attack by terrorists on the school located in Maraban Rido, Chikun Local Government Area of the state on Monday, July 5, 2021.
A week later, Abraham Aniya, one of the abducted students, escaped captivity and was found by a joint security force on rescue patrol around the forest in Tsohon Gaya village in the same local government, on Monday, July 12, 2021.
However, speaking on an ARISE Television News programme on Thursday, July 15, 2021, Sani said a negotiation deal between the abductors and the school authorities had been initiated with the approval of the state government.
“It’s the Bethel Baptist School authorities who are negotiating with the bandits, not even the parents,” the lawmaker said. “We allow that. It’s deliberate.”
Nasir El-rufai, the Governor of the state who recently came under criticism for withdrawing his son from a public school over kidnapping fears, has repeatedly insisted on not negotiating with the terrorists, saying his administration’s mandate is to eliminate them.
But Sani said revealing government efforts, including his on television, might be counterproductive and might expose the distraught parents to more grieving.
“Let me tell you now; even with this interview I’m having now, you’re emphasising on what I’ve done, you’re exposing the parents. I will not tell you what I’ve done,” he said.
“Go and check my record of support.”
He debased reports that the government had neglected the parents to their fates, saying they were not involved in the negotiation deal because they “were voted out and rejected by these guys (the abductors) because they (the abductors) don’t believe in understanding.”
“We will not come on television to tell you all of our plans, these are our ways. We will not change our ways,” he said.
Samuel Aruwan, el-Rufai’s spokesperson, could not be reached for comment.
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