Breaking: Kaduna govt denies hiring private negotiator to free kidnapped pupils

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*says report mischievous

Kaduna state government has denied hiring of private negotiator to free over 200 primary school pupils abducted by bandits in Kuriga Community of Chikun Council.

In a terse statement issued by Muhammad Lawal Shehu, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kaduna State, he said the state government has neither hired a negotiator nor contemplated to make such move.

Describing the story by some media outlet regarding the issue as mischievous, Shehu said it is capable of jeopardizing efforts made by the state and security operatives in ensuring the safe return of the kidnapped children.

He urged media organizations to always validate information from the state government before making publications.

The governor’s spokesman said “the attention of the Kaduna State Government has been drawn to an outrightly mischievous and false report in the Punch Newspaper of 9th March 2024 stating that the Kaduna State Government has hired a private negotiator to facilitate the safe return of school children abducted in Kuriga community, Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State.

“We wish to state categorically that the Kaduna State Government did not hire any private negotiator, neither are we contemplating make such a move.

“The hiring of a private negotiator only exists in the fertile imagination of the Punch Newspaper reporter. The Kaduna State Government has a clear policy on non-negotiation with terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements.

“We urge members of the Press to be cautious in the way they craft and publicise their stories on security in order not to jeopardize the efforts of Government and security agencies in degrading criminal elements laying siege to our communities.
“ If the Punch Newspaper had made efforts to contact the Kaduna State Government, they would have gotten the correct information. The Press are our partners in progress. Our doors are always open,” Shehu appealed.