- The presidency has shed light on how the abducted Kankara schoolboys were rescued
- Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, confirmed repentant bandits helped in the release of the students
- Shehu also highlighted the crucial role played by the Nigerian military and other security forces in ensuring the boys were safely released
Days after the release of the over 300 schoolboys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina, the Nigerian presidency has issued a clarification regarding those responsible for the students' rescue.
Legit.ng notes that there have been conflicting accounts of how the students were rescued from the armed bandits.
While President Muhammadu Buhari praised the military for the rescue of the schoolboys, Katsina state governor, Bello Masari, said the release was facilitated by the leadership of Miyetti Allah/MACABAN.
Similarly, Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, said he facilitated the release of the schoolboys through the repentant bandits and the leadership of Miyetti Allah.
Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, has, however, clarified the perceived conflicting narratives on Tuesday, December 22.
The Punch reported that Shehu made the clarification when he appeared on a Channels TV programme.
Repentant bandits helped in rescuing the schoolboys
Speaking on Tuesday, Shehu confirmed that the repentant bandits played a role in securing the release of the schoolboys.
He also said that Governor Matawalle used repentant bandits to gain access to the abductors and had the boys released.
Nigerian military's role in the boys' release
Shehu said although no ransom was paid, there were negotiations between the major actors before the students were released.
He said while the negotiations were ongoing, the troops of the Nigerian Army and other security forces encircled the Zamfara forest where the boys were held.
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He explained that the security forces locked in on the captors of the students in the Zamfara forest until the negotiations were successfully conducted.
Meanwhile, a new report has indicated that although the schoolboys have reunited with their joyful parents, fear still lingers in the northwest region.
Many of the schoolboys expressed worry about returning to school, saying their captors threatened them with death if they went back to classes.
In another report, the European Union Human Rights Forum (EUHRF) on Sunday, December 20, reacted to the release of the students.
The forum commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his swift response to the abduction of the boys and the effort made by the government to secure their release.
In a statement signed by its special rapporteur for Lake Chad, West Africa, Joseph Cullen, the forum said the release of the schoolboys is a deserving relief.
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