A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, has urged the Nigerian Army to stop making ‘reassuring noises’ and do everything possible to secure the release of the schoolboys abducted last Friday from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
Bandits had stormed the school on Friday night and abducted at least 333 students after a gun duel with the police. The President, Muhammadu Buhari had arrived in the state on Friday, hours before the abduction took place.
The former CBN deputy governor described the incident as unfortunate, adding that bandits must be treated as terrorists because they are enemies of the state.
He spoke Monday on Arise TV’s The Morning Show.
Mailafia said, “My heart goes out to the parents who must be going through a traumatising, agonising time.
“The security forces must do everything they can. We’ve heard some reassuring noises from the Army, saying that they have zeroed down on the exact location of the bandits and where the children are being held.
“All those children must be brought back alive and brought back to their parents. This is not a time for braggadocio. This is not the time for machismo. This is the time to ensure that we bring them (the students) back safely.”
On the prospect of a negotiation with the bandits by the Governor Aminu Masari-led government, Mailafia said, “I don’t expect that the negotiations will be done in the open but a lot of underground work must be done and there must be enough inducement and enough of backups.”
The Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the last election also advised the Federal Government to approach countries like Russia and Israel for support to combat the terrorism and banditry in the country.
“I don’t know why we have not spoken to Russia. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has found a rigorous way of dealing with terrorists. Putin does not negotiate with terrorists. We should talk to Israel; we should talk to countries that have dealt with terrorism. We should talk to countries willing to help,” Mailafia stated.
The Kankara students’ abduction is not the first in the history of the nation. Non-state actors had in the past abducted hundreds of secondary school girls from Chibok, in Borno State; and Dapchi in Yobe State. Some of them eventually regained freedom while a number of them were detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.