We were going to attack Forestry students abductors even if it meant losing the students – Governor El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has revealed that following the abduction of 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna State, the plan was to attack and kill the bandits even if it meant losing some students.

He noted that the Government of Kaduna State was at war and such would only be considered as collateral damage, a price he was willing to pay instead of ransom.

El-Rufai said before the attack was carried out, the bandits had already quickly changed location.

Governor El-Rufai who spoke on Thursday during a webinar tagged, ‘Developing a Viable Nation 2’, organised by the Africa Leadership Group, hosted by Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of the Trinity House Church, said; “Two days after the abduction of the Afaka young people, I was assured by the air force and the army that they knew where the kidnappers were with the students and they had encircled (them).

“We were going to attack them. We would lose a few students but we would kill all the bandits and we would recover some of the students. That was our plan. That was the plan of the air force and the army… But they slipped through the cordon of the army. That is why they were not attacked.

“We know it is risky, we know in the process we may lose some of the abductees but it is a price we have to pay. This is war, there will always be collateral damage in war and we will rather do that than pay money because paying money has not solved the problem anywhere in the world.”

The governor said that the insecurity in Kaduna State was giving him sleepless nights, but he however noted that the situation was not as bad as Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States, but the media focused its attention on Kaduna because it fitted into their narrative of ethnic clashes.

He further noted that during the administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, he advised the president to negotiate with Boko Haram who abducted Chibok girls because it was the first time such would happen in Nigeria. But Boko Haram is driven be an ideology and not money like bandits.

On the expections of Nigeria in 2023, El-Rufia said he advocates for a President who is not more than 65, saying that political leadership is mentally and physically draining and younger person would handle the stress better.

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari hardly achieve much because he is a nice guy that doesn’t like to sack.

“I fire people so I get higher execution rates. President Buhari is a nice guy, he doesn’t fire people so he has a slower execution rate,” the governor added.

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