The Defence Headquarters has dissociated the itself from the reported negotiations by the Katsina State government with the bandits that abducted 333 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, last Friday.
It said the military will continue its ongoing kinetic operations, noting that the armed forces were reviewing strategies to ensure the safe rescue of the children.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, stated this while giving an update on the military operations across the country, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said it was not part of the rule of engagement of the military to negotiate with perceived criminals, assuring that the security forces would rescue the schoolboys from their abductors soon.
Enenche noted, “I don’t know from history where the military or the armed forces go into negotiations when it comes to ransom and I don’t have any record.
Nothing is connecting the armed forces with negotiation. If the governor believes in that as a father, he is seeing it in a larger perceptive.
“We are going on with our operations, and we don’t step down our kinetic operations for any reason at all.
There is nowhere in the world where you stop your kinetic operation; it is a total package because purported negotiations are going on.
It is not done.”
Enenche said that the military had taken all the necessary brief from other agencies and the Katsina State government on the condition of the abducted students.
Based on the latest information, the DHQ spokesman said the hostages were still with the bandits unharmed.
He noted, “Nobody is dead; we have not received anything that anybody is dead from the information that we have on the situation and then, the troops are on guard as it were.
“They have started patrolling the whole of that area which I will not give you the specifics to ensure that they are intact and that we rescue them alive, whichever way.”
Enenche dismissed the reported claim by the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau that the school children were abducted by his men, observing that it was the usual propaganda of the terrorist group.
He said that the military had continued to record successes against terrorists in the North-East and bandits in the North-West with heavy casualties on the terrorists’ side in the last two weeks.