Kaduna governor expresses sympathy with college kidnap victims but refuses ransom demands

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has “deep empathy’’ for parents of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, his Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, has disclosed.

This is coming as the governor had vowed never to pay any ransom for the release of any abducted resident of the state.

But while issuing a statement on Friday, Mr Aruwan said Mr El-Rufai was making spirited efforts to secure the release of the abducted students.

“Contrary to the mischief in some sections of the media, the bond between El-Rufai and the parents of the abducted students is “deep’’, amidst spirited efforts to secure their release.

“The governor will continue to work hard until banditry is contained, without succumbing to the emotional blackmail and gradual politicisation of the unfortunate situation,’’ the commissioner stated.

He explained that a statement issued by the government in which it warned impostors who had been presenting themselves as government-appointed emissaries seeking to negotiate with bandits across the state, had nothing to do with the parents or the relatives of the abducted students.

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“It was rather directed primarily to some individuals exploiting the security situation in the state and neighbouring states,’’ Mr Aruwan said.

He said the state government would not “join issues with the parents whose pains we understand and with whom we share the common goal of the return of all the abducted students’’.

The commissioner said the state government would continue to work toward crushing banditry, kidnapping and other acts of criminality in Kaduna State.

“We believe that most people of goodwill share this desire, and we urge everyone to be wary of those who see in the misery of others an opportunity for needless controversies,” Mr Aruwan said.

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