The more than 300 students who were abducted last Friday from a secondary school in the northwestern Nigerian state of Katsina have been transferred to the forests of Zamfara, the neighboring state, and negotiations are under way with their captors, according to reports. unveiled the regional governor, Aminu Masari, who maintains that Boko Haram is not behind the abduction.
Speaking to the BBC late Wednesday, Masari said they have “information” that the hostages “are in the Zamfara forests” and said that contact had already been made with the kidnappers.
“We are negotiating with those who kidnapped the students and we want to make sure that we achieve their release,” he said, denying that the terrorist group Boko Haram was behind the abduction, as claimed by its leader, Abubakar Shekau, on Tuesday.
Thus, he insisted that the kidnapping was the work of local bandits, as the authorities have been maintaining at all times. “One cannot say precisely if Boko Haram is (present in Katsina) but (the kidnappers) are not Boko Haram, they are not known members of Boko Haram,” he stressed.
However, Masari noted that perhaps the terrorist group helped them “with training or some other help, but all the names we have so far are the names of local bandits.” Thus, he stressed that the authorities will not negotiate with Boko Haram or pay any ransom.
Boko Haram released a video on Tuesday in which its leader claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. “What has happened in Katsina has been done to promote Islam and discourage non-Islamic practices of Western education, which is not the kind of education allowed by Allah and his holy prophet,” Shekau noted.
“Nor is it being taught what Allah and his holy prophet commanded. Instead they are destroying Islam. It may be subtle but Allah, the god of heaven and earth, knows all that is hidden. May Allah promote Islam. and that we can die as Muslims “, Shekau stressed, in his message, to which HumAngle has had access.
The kidnapping of the more than 300 child students from Kankara High School marks Boko Haram’s largest operation in northwestern Nigeria, where it had limited its actions to ambushes against security forces and small-scale kidnappings in exchange for payment. of rescues.
In addition, it has brought to mind the abduction in April 2014 of 276 girls from a school in Chibok, in Borno state, of which 112 still remain unaccounted for and 164 were released. The kidnapping caused a wave of convictions, not only at the national level, but also at the international level and generated a movement, #BringBackOurGirls, which continues to this day and which supports the families of the victims.