Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said he will never pay ransom to bandits even if they kidnap his son.
The governor said this in a radio chat on Friday in Kaduna to underscore his government’s policy of not negotiating with bandits.
Mr El-Rufai has consistently said government should only apply force in dealing with bandits and other violent criminals, reiterating the stand on Thursday by stressing that bandits do not deserve to live.
In his current remarks on Friday, Mr El-Rufai said he had warned his family members to be careful to avoid being abducted. He said he also told them he would never pay a ransom for their freedom, should any of them get into the hands of bandits.
“I mean it and I will say it again here. Even if my son is kidnapped, I will rather pray for him to make heaven instead, because I won’t pay any ransom.”
Asked what his government was doing to secure the release of the students kidnapped at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, in March, the governor said the government would keep exploring other ways to get them back to their families but stressed that the government is “absolutely not paying ransom.”
He said the state government will keep exploring those other means until the students are released.
Mr El-Rufai has been under pressure from the parents of the students, other concerned persons and groups to negotiate with the bandits for the release of the students.
The state governments of Katsina, Niger and Zamfara were believed to have negotiated with the abductors for the release of hundreds of students kidnapped from schools in the states.