The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, has refuted the alleged secret negotiation with bandits in Zamfara State by the federal government without the knowledge of the state government.
The Minister stated this in reaction to the statement credited to Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, alleging that the federal government was negotiating with the Zamfara terrorists to secure the release of abducted students of the Federal University Gusau.
WikkiTimes had reported that Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara state fingered some Federal Government agencies of secretly negotiating a peace pact with bandits terrorising communities of the state for years.
He said despite being the Chief Security Officer of the state, he was not involved in the preliminary stages of the negotiation process, adding that any peace deal stroke out with the bandits is contrary to his strategy of using military might against the terror groups that held sway in the state.
Reports indicate that a team of Federal Government agencies visited the state ostensibly to accomplish a peace deal with the terrorists without the knowledge or consent of the Zamfara State Government.
However, the Minister, in a statement by the acting Director, Public Relations, Ministry of Defence (MOD), Attari Hope, on Monday, expressed confidence that the joint security task forces would get the students rescued.
The Leadership reported that Badaru dismissed the claim, pointing out that the federal government is working assiduously to ensure that the girls and others return home safely.
“The allegation is false and misleading as the Ministry has not mandated anybody or group to negotiate on behalf of the Federal Government.”
He explained that President Bola Tinubu has given marching orders to the Military and other security agencies to ensure the release of those who were abducted in the State.
He said that the order of Mr President has started yielding results as 13 of the abducted students and three others regained their freedom on Monday, September 25, 2023, adding that “This feat was achieved through the professional efforts of the Military.”
On his part, the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Muhammed Matawalle, who was the immediate-past governor of the State, also condemned the attack and called on the nation’s dedicated security forces to intensify efforts and deploy every available resources to secure the safe return of the abducted students.