Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello on Friday said kidnapped students and teachers of Government Science College, Kagara have not yet been released by their abductors.
This came following rumours in the early hours of Friday that the kidnappers had released the students and others after popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi met with the bandits.
Bandits stormed the school in the early hours of Wednesday, killing a student and kidnapped 27 students, three teachers and 12 family members.
But Governor Bello while addressing newsmen on friday denounced rumours of the release, saying the students and others were still being held captive.
The governor, said government is in meeting with different stakeholders and local authorities in a bid to ensure the safe return of the victims.
“As at this moment, we do not have any additional information to give apart from the one given earlier on, yesterday. But I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can, we are interfacing with the local communities, with federal authorities and our own state authorities to ensure that we recover the victims safely.
“Our utmost priority right now is to make sure we bring them back home safe and that is exactly what we are going to do. So, there hasn’t been any information I can give you at this moment but once we have anything for you, we will let you know,” the governor said.
Responding to a question on the purported release of the abductees, the governor said, “Everything that is being said out there is rumour and in situations like this, we cannot work with rumour, it has to be confirmed. Yes, we’ve been receiving different rumours from different people within villages but we are still treating those as rumour until processed and confirmed.”
The governor urged the parents and families of the abducted persons not to despair, adding that the government hopes to secure their release in hours or days.
He added that adequate security personnel have also been deployed to Kagara town and environs to boost security in the area, which according to him has also boosted the morale of the people.
He, however, expressed concern over the lack of manpower and efficiency by security agencies in the state.
According to him, this has made the state government collaborate with local vigilantes