From Maiharaji Altine Gusau
Negotiation between the bandits and the officials of Niger State Government on how to rescue the kidnapped teachers and students of Government Science College, Kagara is said to be ongoing now at Dutsin Magaji which is between Zamfara and Niger states.
A competent source whose name is withheld for security reasons informed Analyzer news, that, the meeting which was being held in Dutsin Magaji of Kotonkoro forest of Rafi local government area in Niger State started yesterday in the evening.
He maintained that, the officials from Niger state passed near his village and headed to Dutsin Magaji, adding that, “As they were passing, we came to know that they were going to meet the bandits in the forest for negotiation.
According to the source, “the committee from Niger State went to Kotonkoro forest this evening where the bandits who allegedly took the students chose as meeting centre”.
“Kotonkoro forest according to him bordered four states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger and Kaduna where the bandits from the affected states used to meet if there was any serious issue.
He however maintained that he didn’t know whether the bandits who kidnapped the Kagara students were from Zamfara or Niger states, concluding that “the matter would soon become public”.
When contacted for comment to hear whether Zamfara state Government was in touch with the Niger State Government on how to rescue the kidnapped teachers and students, the Special Adviser to Governor Matawalle on Public Enlightenment Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa said, “there is nothing like that at the moment”.
Bappa stressed that, Governor Matawalle has been making frantic efforts to make sure he worked with other North Western Governors on how to end banditry but was not getting much support from them.
“Matawalle has been trying to join hand with his colleagues on how to end banditry through dialogue but they are not ready for that”.
He declared that each of the governors was now on his own and working alone towards ending banditry in his state only.
He recalled how Governor Matawalle rescued the Kankara students but was not appreciated by some of his colleagues, lamenting that unless the governors Join hand together, it will be difficult to fight banditry in the region