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Kaduna State Government Hires Private Negotiator To Meet Terrorists, Secure Release Of 287 Pupils

FILE: Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani. 

The Kaduna State Government has reportedly engaged a private negotiator to interact with the terrorists that abducted 287 students and teachers from the Government Secondary School and LEA Primary School, Kuriga 1, in Kaduna State's Chikun Local Government Area of the state. 

A reliable source from the state government confirmed this development, adding that the state government had reached out to the bandits through a private negotiator (names withheld) for the immediate release of the students and teachers. 

According to PUNCH, the private negotiator is a highly important figure who has already negotiated multiple abductions with robbers.

Recall that Africa Daily News had reported how terrorists stormed the LEA Primary School, Kuriga, around 8.30am on Thursday shortly after the assembly gathering and abducted the pupils and some staff members of the schools.

It was discovered that the secondary school was relocated to the primary school grounds due to insecurity in the neighbourhood.

Governor Uba Sani, who visited the school on Thursday, had said that the abducted students would be rescued safely.

Sani while addressing the community members said, “In my capacity as your elected governor, I am assuring you that by the grace of God, all the children will return unhurt.” 

However, less than 48 hours after the abduction, which triggered national outrage, an official source had said the government reached out to the bandits for negotiations to release the 287 abducted pupils and the staff members of the school.

The source said, “The military has begun combing the forests in search of the children kidnapped by the bandits. Security agents have cordoned off the area and they have started searching for the abducted pupils.

“The government is doing all it can for the speedy release of the abducted school pupils.

“The government has established contact and reached out to the bandits for negotiation through a popular bandits negotiator. The negotiator was the one who worked for the return of some of the students abducted some years back.

“He (the negotiator) had negotiated the return of so many abductees in the past. He negotiated the return of those students abducted in Katsina State years back.”

Two more government officials verified the development to PUNCH, but requested anonymity due to the delicate nature of the situation.

They also refused to offer any additional information, citing concerns that doing so would jeopardise ongoing efforts to gain the victims' release and put them in danger.

It was gathered that an emergency security meeting was convened by the governor on Friday but details of the discussions were not available to journalists.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, acknowledged the security meeting and said more information would be released later on it. 

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