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Buhari, El Rufai commend release of 14 Greenfield students, silent on N180m ransom

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NIGERIAN President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of Kaduna State have commended the release of 14 students kidnapped from Greenfield University but remained silent on the payment of N180 million for their release.

The ICIR reported on Saturday that the parents of the kidnapped students said they paid a ransom of N180 million and provided 10 motorcycles to the kidnappers before 14 of the students were released.

The parents also lamented that there was no help whatsoever from government officials and security operatives in the state.

However, in separate statements, Buhari and El Rufai welcomed the ‘release’ of the students but did not comment on the payment of ransom.

Buhari said he was ‘relieved’ that the students had been released after spending 40 days in kidnappers’ den.

The president stated that the Federal Government would continue to work with “State Governments to step up the protection of lives and property across the country, including educational institutions and other vulnerable targets” even though the parents said the release was not with the aid of the government.

“Kidnapping is a serious crime and a gross violation of the rights of fellow citizens; President Buhari assures that kidnapping and all other forms of criminality will continue to be met with zero tolerance by security agents,” the statement read.

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For the Kaduna state government, El Rufai, after welcoming the release of the students, said he wished them and their families recovery from the trauma and ‘reiterates’ condolences to the families who lost children.

Similar to the same rhetoric by Buhari, the Kaduna State government also said it was ‘working with the FG and other states for military operations’ to secure the residents of the state.

When The ICIR contacted the Presidential Spokesperson Garba Shehu concerning the payment of ransom, he did not respond to a text message sent to him.

Similarly, Press Secretary to El Rufai Muyiwa Adekeye also did not respond to the same question from The ICIR.

 

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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