Bandits who threw Niger State in fear after abducting 27 students and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, has said the state will not know peace.
A leader of the bandits while negotiating with a representative of the affected school vowed that the state would not know peace until it disbands vigilantes.
The abductor described efforts of the security men as a waste of time, nothing that they are well informed of every of their moves.
He said: “Your deploying security officials in Kagara is a waste of time. Is there a fence in this forest? You know we are not in the cities, we are in the forest”.
“In all of your (Niger State) madness, you are not up to Zamfara. It was compelled to accept our terms and talk less of small fries like you. You see, if you want to seek peace, seek peace and if you don’t stop the activities of vigilantes in Niger you will not know peace forever.”
Meanwhile, prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi had told newsmen earlier that efforts were being intensified to identify the group holding the victims.
According to him, there is an audio recording of a conversation between the abductors and a top official of the school.
“There is a crisis really. The abductor is saying he cannot feed the victims and he’s demanding money. He’s saying the money (they are offering) is too small for him,” Gumi said.
Asked on what happened to the negotiation between the bandits and the government, the cleric said, “There was never any negotiation. The bandits we met said they knew the group that took the bus (which carried the victims), but they did not know the ones who took the children. They said they would investigate and call us.”
However, the PUNCH reports that efforts to get the state government’s reaction to the audio recording on the negotiation did not succeed as the Commissioner for Information, Sani Idris, did not pick calls to his telephone nor responded to an SMS sent to him.