President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his government’s commitment to protecting lives and properties, assuring that kidnapping and other forms of crimes will be met with zero tolerance by the country’s security agencies.
Buhari gave the assurance on Saturday following the release of 14 abducted students and staff of Greenfield University in Kaduna State.
“The President assures that @NigeriaGov will 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,” the presidency tweeted on its official handle on Saturday.
“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.”
While the Nigerian leader expressed relief over the release of the captives after a 40-day ordeal, he sympathised with the families of the victims.
“Once again, the President condoles with the families of the students and staff that were killed by the abductors,” it added.
The kidnapped students and staff were freed at a location along the Kaduna- Abuja Highway with the Chairman of the Parents Forum, Markus Zarmai, and few others expected to receive them at the drop-off location.
In addition to providing eight new motorcycles to the kidnappers before they agreed to release their children, the parents of the abducted students admitted to paying a ransom of N150m.
Bandits had on April 20 stormed the educational institution, and abducted the students and staff.
Three days after the incident, the remains of three of the abducted students were found in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university with the Kaduna Government reporting on April 26 that the kidnappers had killed two more students.
At a meeting held in Kaduna in April, parents of the students appealed to the government and public to help with the N800 million ransom demand from the kidnappers.
The Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government have discouraged ransom payments to bandits.