“We will not succumb to blackmail,” Bukhari warns the bandits.
President Muhammadu Bukhari called the latest kidnapping of hundreds of female students at the Jangebe public high school for girls in Zamfara state inhuman and completely unacceptable, sending a serious warning to the thugs and their sponsors.
In response to Friday’s incident, President Bukhari said that “this administration will not succumb to the blackmail of thugs targeting innocent students in anticipation of huge ransoms.”
Our main goal is to keep all school hostages safe and sound.
We have the opportunity to deploy huge forces against the bandits in the villages in which they operate, but our limitation is the fear of large losses among innocent villagers and hostages that can be used by bandits as human shields.
A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires the utmost patience to protect victims from physical injury or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.
Let the bandits, kidnappers and terrorists not flatter themselves that they are stronger than the government. They should not mistake our restraint for the humanitarian purposes of protecting the lives of innocent people as weak, a sign of fear or indecision.
Let me say it again: we will not succumb to the blackmail of thugs and criminals who target innocent students awaiting huge ransoms.
State governments need to rethink their policy of rewarding bandits with cash and vehicles. Such a policy can backfire. States and local governments also have a role to play in actively improving safety in and around schools.