Kaduna Govt Denies Hiring Private Negotiator To Facilitate Release Of 287 Pupils

The Kaduna State Government has refuted a media report that it hired a private negotiator to secure the release of 287 primary school pupils abducted by bandits in the Kuriga Community of Chikun Council Local Government Area of the state.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, Muhammad Lawal Shehu, made this known in a statement seen by Bahd street vibes on Saturday.

It was earlier reported that the state government had reportedly begun negotiations for the release of the pupils and their teachers kidnapped on Thursday morning.

A source in the Kaduna Government House told The Punch that the state government had reached out to the bandits through a private negotiator for the release of the pupils and their teachers.

However, according to the statement released by the governor’s spokesman, the state government has neither hired a negotiator nor contemplated making such a move.

Shehu said the media report was capable of jeopardizing efforts made by the state and security operatives to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped children.

He described the story as mischievous and urged media organizations to always validate information from the state government before publication.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Kaduna State Government has been drawn to an outrightly mischievous and false report of 9th March 2024 stating that the Kaduna State Government has hired a private negotiator to facilitate the safe return of school children abducted in Kuriga community, Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State.

“We wish to state categorically that the Kaduna State Government did not hire any private negotiator, neither are we contemplating making such a move.

“The hiring of a private negotiator only exists in the fertile imagination of the reporter. The Kaduna State Government has a clear policy on non-negotiation with terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements.

“We urge members of the Press to be cautious in the way they craft and publicise their stories on security in order not to jeopardize the efforts of Government and security agencies in degrading criminal elements laying siege on our communities.

“ If the .. reporter had made efforts to contact the Kaduna State Government, they would have gotten the correct information. The Press are our partners in progress. Our doors are always open.”

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