The state Governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, has revealed that the Fulani apex socio-cultural organization, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, negotiated the release of the 344 students who were abducted from Katsina on Friday.
The Government Science Secondary Schoolboys, who were kidnapped from Kankara, Katsina State, on December 11 and ferried to a forest in the Katsina state, were released on Thursday with no ransom reportedly paid.
Governor Bello Matawalle told reporters that Katsina state was able to secure their release through the help of MACBAN and repentant Boko Haram.
Despite claims by the bandit that they kidnapped the boys, Governor Matawalle, who is an opposition governor, told news reporters that “nothing like Boko Haram in this abduction, the bandits did it.”
He further revealed that the Katsina state government employed Miyetti Allah leadership and some repentant Boko Haram to establish contact with the schoolboys’ abductors before pleading for their release.
“When we established contact with them, I persuaded them to release them unharmed. And so they did tonight,” the governor reportedly said.
“This is not the first time we facilitated the release of our people without payment of ransom. Ask anybody; we don’t pay bandits a dime. We extend an olive branch to them because they also want to live in peace.
“As I speak to you, they are on their way to Tsafe, from where they will come to Gusau and sleep. They will begin their journey to Katsina tomorrow morning.”
Recall the schoolboys were kidnapped from their school on Friday.
Their release was, however, confirmed by the Katsina State government on Thursday night.
Welcoming their release, Oby Ezekwesili said Nigeria is not being governed and is showing characteristics of a failed state.
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