The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai has claimed that kidnappers are now collaborating with “some elements of Boko Haram” to hold people for ransom.
He spoke 24 hours after gunmen abducted six schoolgirls and two staff members from a boarding school in Kaduna.
While addressing state house correspondents on Friday, el-Rufai confirmed that the kidnappers had made contact with the parents of the victims but refused to disclose the ransom they are demanding.
He said his administration has made adequate arrangements to beef up security in state schools, adding that the kidnappers of the students and teachers succeeded because the school was in a remote place.
“First, I must say it is most unfortunate and tragic. For us in Kaduna for this kidnap of children and teachers to happen. The report I got is that six students of a private secondary school were kidnapped along with two teachers,” he said.
“As at this morning (Friday), the kidnappers have made contacts with the parents, and we have got the parents of the kidnapped children and the relations of the teachers to be in one place so that, there is one line of communications with the kidnappers to facilitate their release.
“However, from the moment of the kidnap, the security agencies, all agencies, from the DSS to the Police, the Nigerian Air force, and the Army have been on the matter and I am confident that not only are we going to secure the release of the students and their teachers, but we are going to get the kidnappers by the grace of God.
“It is always a moment of sadness when young people that are trying to get an education to become victims of these criminals. But kidnapping has become widespread that for many people, it is not news. For us in Kaduna, this is one of the biggest tragedies and we are doing everything to manage the situation to get the children and their teachers safely and pursue these kidnappers with everything that we have got.
“I get updates every three hours on this and the last update I got is that they are in touch and they are discussing to resolve the matter. We have been receiving intelligence some three months ago, that the bandits have connected with some elements of Boko Haram, and they will be targeting schools to kidnap children because they know that that is what makes the news.