The Zamfara State Government has said that none of the kidnapped 317 school girls from Government Secondary School in Jangebe has been released.
This came against the backdrop of reports on Sunday that the abducted schoolgirls have been released and at the palace of the Emir of Anka, waiting to be transported to Gusau, the state capital.
The state Commissioner for Information and Culture, Suleiman Tunau Anka in a tweet on Sunday described the news on the release of the girls as ‘fake news and should be disregarded.
“I want to call the attention of good people of Zamfara State, they should disregard any fake news regarding the release of abducted students of GGSS Jangebe by one national daily, it’s not true.
“But Alhamdulillah the state government and securities are trying their best.”
Also, the state governor Bello Matawalle said that the abducted students will be released very soon.
Matawalle stated this in Gusau on Sunday while receiving the federal government delegation which was in the state for a sympathy visit over the abduction of the children.
“We are using the leaders of the repentant bandits to rescue the schoolgirls from the kidnappers.
“Very soon we are going to witness the release of the abductees”, the governor said
He said his administration “is going to continue with the peace process with bandits considering its impacts in addressing security challenges facing the state.”
There are reports that the abducted girls have been released by their captors and that the school girls are in the palace of the Emir of Anka for onward transportation to Gusau, the state capital.
The girls who were kidnapped on Friday were believed to have been taken to a forest by bandits who reportedly disguised as security personnel.
Schools have become targets for mass kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed groups.
On Feb. 17, 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their families were abducted by an armed gang that stormed the Government Science secondary school in the Kagara district of Niger State, overwhelming the school’s security detail. One boy was killed during the raid.
After their release, boys were seen by a witness walking with armed security through a dusty village, some struggling to stand and asking for water. A government official said the boys were aged between 15 and 18.
The release comes just a day after the raid on a school in Zamfara state where gunmen seized 317 girls.
School kidnappings in the country were first carried out by jihadist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province, but the tactic has now been adopted by other militants whose agenda is unclear.