By A’isha Biola Raji
Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and a former Head of state, General Abdulsalam Abubakar have urged the federal and state governments to urgently secure the release of kidnapped students, members of staff and families of the Government Science College Kagara.
Both past rulers made the call in respect of breakdown of negotiations concerning the release of the students. The two elder statesmen said while they do not support government’s dialogue with bandits, however, if that is the best way the victims of abduction can be released, they are in full support of it.
Both past leaders spoke separately when they were visited by the delegation of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by its Chairman and Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi.
According to Babangida, “The safety of the children is of great importance for now. We want them to come out safely without anyone being hurt. Any measure the government takes to secure their release will be okay.”
In his own words, Abdulsalam said, “Dialogue is not the best way but when you are the one wearing the shoe, what will you do. Our children have been abducted for over five days, even if you know where they are, it will be foolhardy to storm there and fight them (the abductors) because there may be casualties.
“Sometimes there is a need to see the best way you can talk to these heartless people to see how you can get these people released. But dialogue is not the best way.”
Proffering solutions, the two elder statesmen said the bulk of the work falls on the table of the law enforcement agencies in putting up strategies to prevent future incidences.
Babangida said, “Going forward, it requires a lot of planning and thinking but these problems can be overcome. The law enforcement agencies need to work together to map out new strategies on how to deal with the problem.”
On his part, Abdulsalam said, “The best way is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again and for it to succeed, the security agencies need to step up their game.”
Abdulsalam further urged the governors to stop inciting speeches and take their responsibilities seriously.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi told the two leaders that they were in the state to show solidarity with the government and people in the state to show that they feel their pain and would ensure all resources would be employed to prevent such from happening.
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