Kaduna Govt Engages Private Negotiator Over Release Of 287 Pupils, Teachers

Sources say that the Kaduna State Government has engaged the services of a private negotiator over the release of over 287 schoolchildren and teachers abducted in Chikin LGA on Thursday.

Recall that no fewer than 287 pupils and teachers of the Government Secondary School and LEA Primary School, Kuriga 1, in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, were abducted by bandits.

A highly placed source in the Kaduna State Government House said that the state government had reached out to the bandits through a private negotiator (names withheld) for the release of the pupils and their teachers.

The private negotiator is a highly influential individual who has been involved in negotiating several abductions with bandits in the past.

Governor Uba Sani, who visited the school on Thursday, gave an assurance that the abducted pupils would be rescued unhurt.

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 said the government had reached out to the bandits for negotiations to release the 287 abducted pupils and the staff members of the school.

“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 source told Punch.

“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 bandit 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 other government officials confirmed the development but refused to provide further information due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

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