Friday, September 24, 2021

Why we’re yet to rescue kidnapped Tegina school girls – Niger govt

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The Niger State Government has given reasons for the continued delay in rescuing the kidnapped schoolgirls of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya, Tegina.

Speaking with ThisDay on Monday, the Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Matane, revealed that the parents kicked against using military operations to rescue the girls.

According to him, the government wanted to use the military to raid the forests where the girls are being held but their parents opposed the plan because of the likelihood of a collateral damage to some of the girls.

He said: “The government wanted to use the special security corps it launched in mid-June to confront the bandits in the forest, but the parents of the school girls begged that they would not like to lose any child.

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“They begged us to allow them exhaust all the peaceful means to secure their children, and that’s why we halted the operation.

“You know this type of operation would end in collateral damage, as we know where these bandits are, and we are monitoring their movements.”

The secretary also submitted that the government has a policy of not paying ransom to bandits because the money paid has been discovered to be used to buy more arms with which they intimidate ordinary citizens.

Mr Matane also disclosed that the state government has been single-handedly funding all the security operations in the state, adding that not less than 1,000 soldiers, policemen and men of the local vigilante are catered for on daily basis.

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According to him, though the federal government provides the personnel, “the state gives daily allowances to these security operatives.”

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