Jangebe schoolgirls: Buhari talks tough to bandits, warns states to stop ransom payment

…Buhari’s words mean nothing, says Aisha Yesufu

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent out a strong warning to bandits and their sponsors, as he condemned the latest abduction of Jangebe schoolgirls, as inhumane and totally unacceptable,

Simultaneously, he warned state governors to stop rewarding bandits or terrorists with ransom payment.

He urged the states “to review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that the policy might boomerang disastrously.”

He also advised states and local governments to be more proactive by improving security around schools and their surroundings.

Reacting to the kidnapping of 317 schoolgirls in Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State, Buhari said that his administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments.”

“No criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government,” he said.

“The only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.”

“We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits,” he said.

The President said: “our primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed.”

President Buhari noted that “a hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.”

He warned the bandits: “Let them not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government. They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.” – The News.

The co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Aisha Yesufu, has criticised President Buhari over his handling of the increasing spate of abductions in the country.

When asked on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, what she thought of the President’s assurance to Nigerians about efforts being made to rescue all those who have been abducted, Mrs Yesufu said: “what I make of the statement is absolutely nothing”.

“We are used to a president whose words mean nothing. He says one thing, and another thing happens,” she added.

Since one of the major abductions in the country happened in 2014 – (the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State), Yesufu has been at the forefront of the calls made to the Federal Government to ensure the release of all abductees as well as to curb the rate of insecurity in the country.

Speaking of the abduction of 317 female students at the Jangebe Government Girls Secondary School in Zamfara State on Friday, she said the President’s body language had been an enabler to the perpetrators.

“The body language of President Muhammadu Buhari enables the terrorists. They know that we have an ineffective President and Commander-In-Chief, we have an incompetent one a clueless one, who does not even bother about what is happening in the country”, the BBOG Co-convener said.

“Yesterday we buried seven military officers, the best that we have, the nation was in mourning and the President was a few minutes away from where they were and the president didn’t even turn up, what does that signify? It Is high time we begin to make serious demands on the president”.

“This is such a sad moment especially with the fact that our government has not learnt anything in spite of almost seven years of advocacy that we’ve been calling on the government to do the right thing and to do the needful to ensure that the citizens are protected.

“Before the Chibok Girl’s abduction, there was actually the Guniyadi killings where 29 boys were slaughtered in their schools”.

Speaking about what steps should be taken, Yesufu said “It is not in our place to give the way forward. His (the President’s) salaries are being paid for it, his needs are being taken care of. He was voted to give the way forward.

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