A former Director of the Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, has asked the federal government to pay any ransom needed to free the abducted students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, in Niger State.
Recall that one student was killed and several other students abducted as armed bandits attacked Government Science College Kagara in Rafi LGA of Niger State.
The bandits also kidnapped some teachers and their family members residing within the College Staff Quarters.
According to a government source, the students and teachers were abducted at about 2:00 am on Wednesday when the bandits stormed the school.
Speaking on Thursday while featuring on PUNCH Live programme, Ejiofor said if the payment of ransom was the only way to secure the release of the victims, the government should explore the alternative.
He also called on the government to strengthen the security apparatus of the country so that there won’t be any recurrence..
“It is unthinkable that governments should be going into negotiation with bandits. I shudder when people compare Niger Delta militants with bandit,” he said.
The former DSS director added that, “It is very unfortunate and sad that we are going through this development in our polity. We can’t continue to hear this every day that innocent children are kidnapped, innocent children who went to acquire knowledge cannot go to school anymore.
“It is an offence now to go to school and this was exactly what Boko Haram was preaching against that they are against western education.
“What this means is that these people (bandits) are trying to instill fear in people so that by the time they do it two, three times, the students will say they are not going to school. But I believe that the government will take decisive action.”
Asked whether the government should pay ransom to secure the release of the abductees, Ejiofor said, “My answer is yes and no.”
He explained, “If you are a victim of kidnap or your family member or your ward is involved in kidnap, you will do everything possible to ensure their early release. So, if paying ransom which various state governments had been involved in means getting them out safely, so be it.
“For these people who have already been taken, if ransom is the only way they can come out, why not? But we should strengthen our security against reoccurrence of such incidents so that we don’t go about paying ransom, and making money for people, (so that it does not) becomes a creative franchise.”