NIGER: Kagara abductees not yet released – Gov Bello

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Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has denied reports that the abducted students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara have been released.

Bello made this known on Friday at the Government House in Minna, the state capital, shortly after meeting renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Abubakar Gumi.

Gumi had on Thursday night met bandits believed to be holding the abductees captive.

“Regarding the event of the past few days where we have two serious cases of kidnappings – the NTSA (Niger State Transport Authority) bus that was kidnapped (with passengers). And the second event took place at the Secondary School in Kagara,” Mr Bello said.

“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.”

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.”

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