The Presidency, on Monday, said Nigerians should give credit to the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for its ‘prompt action’ to security challenges in the country including mass abductions of students.
Adesina also said the Federal Government would disclose to Nigerians if ransom has been paid to facilitate the release of the over 300 schoolgirls abducted by bandits in Jangebe in Zamfara State last week.
The presidential spokesman said Buhari will do everything possible to ensure the safe return of the abductees “without compromising the sovereignty of the country”.
He said, “It is easy to say negotiations and dialogue should not be done but to the president, each situation is taken according to its peculiarities.”
“If ransom was paid, it (the government) will tell the country and if ransom was not paid, it will say so.
“If there was payment, it will be disclosed and if there was payment, it will not be my duty because I speak for the president. The president will not be the one to pay the ransom, the agencies that will pay the ransom have spokesmen who can confirm or deny whether ransoms were paid,” Adesina noted.
When asked when the Jangebe girls would be recovered, Adesina said, “At the shortest possible time. That is why government is working; federal government, state government, inter-agency collaboration, everything is being done to bring those schoolgirls back.”
The rate of mass abduction of students by bandits in the northern part of Nigeria has become alarming in recent times. Just recently, bandits kidnapped dozens of students and workers of Government Science College in Kagara, Niger State. Bandits had also last year kidnapped over 300 schoolboys from Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State. Aside from Kankara and Kagara, non-state actors had also abducted hundreds of secondary school girls from Chibok, in Borno State; and Dapchi in Yobe State.
Dapchi, Kankara, Kagara and Jangebe occurred under the Buhari regime. Speaking on the serial mass abductions, Adesina urged Nigerians to focus on the end results of the abductions under the Buhari regime.
He said, “When those abductions happened, how do they end? We had Dapchi, they were recovered. We had Kankara, they were recovered. We had Kagara, they were recovered. We are working on Jangebe in Zamfara now. You look at the end results.
“This is a vast country with security challenges. There could be glitches, there could be shortcomings in one area of the other but how do those things end. So, give some credit to this government.
Adesina further said, “There is nothing wrong about being reactive, you can’t be proactive about everything. In security, there will be things you will also react to. Yes, you can be proactive about certain things but the truth is that you cannot prevent everything. No single country in the world has been able to prevent security challenges but the speed with which you react and the efficiency with which you react will matter.
“When Kankara happened and those boys were taken into the forest, immediately, the security forces swung into action and they ring those abductors round. They were not able to take those boys out of the country. Compared that to the time the Chibok girls were taken and because there was jittery on the part of the government then, the girls had been taken far before anything could be done.
“Prompt action, swift action is also part of security reaction and we have seen that in all that have happened in this administration.”