From Bello Wakili
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the latest abduction of hundreds of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State as inhumane and totally unacceptable, sending out a strong warning to bandits and their sponsors.
A statement signed by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity Mallam Garba Shehu said President Buhari noted that the administration would not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments.
According to the President, “no criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government,” stressing that, “the only thing standing between the country security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.
President Buhari noted that “a hostage crisis was a complex situation that required maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.
The President warned the bandits: “Let them not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government.
He said They shouldn’t mistake government’s restraint for humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.
The President appealed to state governments to review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that the policy might boomerang disastrously.
He also advised states and local governments to be more proactive by improving security around schools and their surroundings.