The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, on Wednesday explained why the Federal Government stopped negotiations with bandits in the northern part of Nigeria.
Nwajiuba, who spoke to journalists at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the bandits used the money received as ransom to equip themselves.
He said efforts are being made by the government to rescue the abducted students of Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State and others in the country.
The minister said: “Truly speaking, it is disheartening anytime any of our students are taken at any point, I can assure you that the federal government is doing all that it can. We have held several meetings with our security personnel and that whole region.
“Insecurity at the school level, you may understand stems from insecurity around the area. Before we had Chibok, there was Boko Haram in the area. It is the success of the military in more or less, incapacitating the Boko Haram in the North-East that led to some level of insurgents in the North-West.
“And as bandits appeared that they’ve started striking randomly at some of our schools from Jangebe and Kangara. You know, everywhere. And the places where they had to go, we have pursued them.
“But the containment policy of the military is actually in response to what we also did as the humanitarian element that surrounds it because of the way the military will engage bandits once they have our citizens will not be the same way they will engage them ordinarily.
“And therefore, they may not just go into the forest shooting at everything or everybody they see. And that has enabled the bandits use some of our citizens as human shields. We are constrained to stop negotiations with bandits because we have seen that every time they get any payment, it leads to further escalation, because they re-equip and they re-arm and go back to criminalities.”
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