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I won’t pay ransom, even if my son is kidnapped, says el-Rufai

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has insisted he will never pay ransom to bandits even if they kidnap his son. He said this on Friday, during a radio chat in Kaduna, to underscore his government’s policy of not negotiating with bandits. According to el-Rufai, he has warned his family members to be careful to avoid being abducted, saying he would never pay a ransom for their freedom, should any of them get into the hands of bandits. He said: “I mean it and I will say it again here. Even if my son is kidnapped, I will rather pray for him to make heaven instead, because I won’t pay any ransom.”

When asked what his government was doing to secure the release of the students kidnapped at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, in March, the governor said the government would keep exploring other ways to get them back to their families. He however stressed that the government is “absolutely not paying ransom,” adding that the state government will keep exploring those other means until the students are released. He had consistently argued that paying ransom to bandits is a way of encourage aging them to kidnap more people.

The governor also spoke about the retrenchment of local government workers. “It is an exercise that is necessary. We have made it clear that any persons working with a certificate below a diploma should not be part of our civil service, except junior workers who are essential workers. “Another thing we learnt also is the lesson we got from COVID-19 lockdowns.

We have less workers coming to work and still getting work done. “It is obvious that the majority of the workers, especially in the middle cadre, are actually not doing anything. Some don’t even go to work and yet get their salaries. “We can’t be wasting government money to pay salaries of people who are not needed. We need money to work for the people of Kaduna because that is what we swore to do,” he said.


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