How Katsina, Zamfara govt secured release of abducted schoolboys

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Following the release of the students of Government Science Secondary School , Kankara, the Governors of Kastina and Zamfara states have been revealed the process that led to their freedom.

Governor Aminu Masari spoke to the Hausa service of a German radio station, Radio Deutche Welle, while the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle spoke in an interview with Daily Nigerian.

Both governors were emphatic that no ransom was paid to secure the release of the students.

They also agree that contrary to the claims by the insurgent group in a video releases hours before the students were freed, Boko Haram was not behind the abduction of the students, but bandits were.

According to them, Miyyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) played a key role in securing freedom for the students.

Specifically, Masari told Radio DW that MACABAN negotiated with the bandits to get the schoolboys released and no single Kobo was paid as ransom.

He also insisted that the schoolboys were not abducted by Boko Haram, but bandits.

He said, “Some hours ago, those assisting us in talks with the bandits said they have released all children in captivity. About 344 of them. And we have sent vehicles to transport them to Katsina.

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“We will direct our doctors to carry out medical examination on the children tomorrow morning. They have spent six-day in the forest. We will change their clothes and we will hand them over to their parents,” Masari said.

Speaking in the same vein, Zamfara Governor said he facilitated the release of the 344 schoolboys without payment of ransom.

Governor Matawalle told DAILY NIGERIAN, that he used repentant bandits and leadership of Miyetti Allah to identify those behind the abduction, and then started the negotiation process.

“When we established contact with them, I persuaded them to release them unharmed. And so they did tonight. This is not the first time we facilitated the release of our people without payment of ransom.

“Ask anybody, we don’t pay bandits a dime. What we do is to extend olive branch to them because they also want to live in peace.

“As I speak to you, they are still on their way to Tsafe, from where they will come to Gusau and sleep. They will begin their journey to Katsina tomorrow morning,” the governor said.

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