Governor Nasir El-Rufai has reportedly disclosed that their rescue plan after the abduction of 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in Kaduna State, was to bombard the bandits’ hideout, lose a few students and kill all the bandits.
Punch reported that El-Rufai disclosed this on Thursday May 6, during a webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Group.
Responding to a question on why he refused to negotiate with bandits at the event tagged: ‘Developing a Viable Nation 2’ and hosted by Pastor of Trinity House Church Ituah Ighodalo, El-Rufai further revealed that the rescue plan was not carried out because the bandits slipped through the cordon of the army.
“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.”
El-Rufai who admitted that he had “lost weight” over the insecurity in Kaduna State which he said was giving him sleepless nights, however claimed that insecurity in Kaduna was not as bad as Niger, Katsina and Zamfara.
He also said the media only focused attention on his state because it fitted into their narrative of ethnic clashes. The Governor claimed that in Katsina and Niger states, entire villages were sacked by bandits but nothing of such happened in Kaduna.
Also commenting on why he asked former President Goodluck Jonathan to negotiate with Boko Haram, El-Rufai said he only gave that advice because that was the first time such abduction would take place and also because Boko Haram is driven by an ideology and not by money in the case of today’s bandits.
He further claimed that President Buhari has hardly achieved much because he is a nice guy that doesn’t like to sack, in contrast to the way he governs Kaduna state.
“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.”