The Police in Zamfara says 317 girls were kidnapped by bandits, but self-appointed negotiator, Sheik Abubakar Ahmad Gumi, has disowned the abductors, saying he does not know them and they were not those he met when he visited the bandits in the forests of the state.
The Deputy Minority Whip of the, and leader of the Zamfara caucus of the Peopes Democratic Party, PDP in the National Assembly, Senator Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u, condemned the abduction, but backed his Governor’s initiative at reaching a peace deal with bandits.
Ya’u expresses concerns that despite the peace initiative of the Governor Bello Matawalle with repentant bandits, with a view to giving them a lease of life, the situation continues to rear its ugly head.
He sympathised the families of the abducted children, and people of the state calling for prayers and calm, while appealing to the abductors to embrace dialogue and ensure the unconditional release of the abducted children.
The Governor, the Senator said, is not deterred by the activities of these few elements.
He appealed to the bandits to choose a more profitable path by turning in their ams so they can be re-integrated into the society and live a more meaningful life.
Meanwhile, the Northern States Governors Forum has condemned the attack, with the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong declaring that the abduction trend is unacceptable and strong measures must be taken to put an end to it before it escalates into a monster that will consume educational pursuit and national aspirations.
Governor Lalong said this development which is coming on the heels of the abduction of school children in Kagara, Niger State still being addressed, calls for serious concerns among all Nigerians.
He said “as Northern Governors, we are deeply saddened by this embarrassing and unfortunate attack on our children who are in schools to seek knowledge and build capacity to impact the nation and create a better society. The assault on schools where innocent and harmless students are targeted should not be condoned in any way because it has the tendency to set the nation back to ignorance and more poverty. The Northern part of the country in particular is more educationally disadvantaged and cannot afford to have these disruptions. Enough is enough”.
The Northern Governors therefore urged security agencies to use every asset at their disposal to rescue the children and bring to justice those behind the act. They also want Nigerians to support the security agencies and government with credible information that will lead to swift resolution of the situation.
Lalong sympathised with the families of the abducted school children, the people and Government of Zamfara State, assuring them of the support of the Forum in tackling the problem.
The Northern Governors Forum rose from their meeting in Kaduna on Thurday where they resolved to take far reaching measures to address insecurity and other challenges of the region and the nation at large.