FULANI herdsmen’s association the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) has commenced negotiations with the kidnappers who recently abducted about 300 schoolboys from their secondary school in Katsina State.
Last weekend, the pupils were kidnapped from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State by armed gunmen. Already, terrorist sect Boko Haram has come out to claim responsibility for the kidnapping but the federal government has promised to free them using force of necessary.
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has now revealed that Macban has been in contact with the hoodlums and are negotiating their freedom. About 17 of the schoolboys have escaped and returned to their families and according to the governor, none the abducted students had died.
‘We’re in talks with the abductors through Miyetti Allah. We are discussing through the leadership of Macban with those suspected to have carried out the abduction and I had a meeting with the commissioner of police and heads of security agencies two or three hours ago.
“It is not about who is in charge but what is of paramount concern to me as the chief security officer of the state is that these students return home safely and this is what we are talking about. It is natural for patents to be angry but I as the state governor, I will answer for my deeds here and beyond,” Governor Masari said.
According to security and local sources, Boko Haram recruited three local gangs to kidnap the pupils. Parents of the abducted boys have vowed that they would keep coming to the school every day until their children are returned home safely.
Faith umbrella body, the Christian Association of Nigeria, has described the students’ abduction is another tragic chapter in the history of the country. It condemned the criminal activities of hoodlums who now operate with impunity as if the security agencies are on holiday.
Nigeria’s defence headquarters has said there that troops would not sleep until all the abducted students were rescued. Apparently, the kidnapping carried was out on Boko Haram’s orders by a notorious local gangster called Awwalu Daudawa, a former armed robber and castle rustler.
Mr Daudawa , 43, worked in collaboration with Idi Minorti and Dankarami, two other underworld kingpins with strong local followings. Apart from being a former robber, Mr Daudawa later turned to gun-running and importing weapons from Libya, where he had received training.
Over time, he forged an alliance with Boko Haram and became their gunrunner, taking weapons the group seizes from Nigerian security forces in raids and ambushes and selling them to bandits for a cut. Mr Daudawa was spotted in the forest in the Kankara area where he recently relocated and there were reports that he was planning something but it was not clear what it was until now.