Like in the case of the Kagara students in Niger State, the Zamfara State government, which maintained a studied silence while reports raged for hours on the release of over 300 female students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, has flatly denied the girls were released.
The Police followed suit, but called for any information that could lead to the rescue of the girls.
Said the Police in a statement by its spokesman, SP Mohammed Shehu: “The attention of Zamfara Zamfara State Police Command has been drawn to the news currently trending on some online media platforms that the abducted students of Government Girls Science Secondary school Jangebe in Talata Mafara LGA have been released.
“From the records available to the Police Command, the abducted students have not been released. However, the Command in Collaboration with other security agencies and the state government are intensifying efforts that will lead to the safe rescue of the students.
“The Command urges members of the public to discontenance the story and further appealed to any person or group with any credible information about the abducted students to contact the following senior officers of the Command on their phone numbers so that together we can successfully rescue the students.
Commander 42 PMF Gusau 08034537596
Commander 78 PMF Maradun 08035318484
Commander Puff Adder Zamfara 08023161417
Commander CTU Base 18 Gusau 08037502638
O/C Intelligence, Gusau 08036525452
PPRO Zamfara 08091914752
“Members of the Press are enjoined to verify any information that comes their way before going to the public.”
Recall that in the case of the Kagara students, it was reported three days earlier they had been released, but the Niger State government was silent for nearly a day before denying.
It was learnt later that it was to prevent truncating negotiations. The boys were released last Saturday, while no one spoke on whether ransom was paid or not.
Efforts to get state government officials to speak Sunday evening was fruitless as they clammed up. The state of negotiations was not clear Sunday night as it appeared a shut-un directive was in place. The Zamfara government is known to have a robust back-channel to bandits.