By Ayo Kehinde
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, on Thursday complained of lack of support from the Federal Government in the efforts to rescue abducted students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara.
Students numbering 27 and workers of the school were on February 17 kidnapped at about 2:am, while one student was shot dead.
The governor who lamented the helplessness of the state during a courtesy visit by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, at Government House, Minna, on Thursday, said the federal government had abandoned the state to its fate and pledged to intensify efforts to ensure the victims are rescued, nonetheless.
Although he admitted that the Federal Government sent a delegation to the state and also deployed 300 mobile policemen to the state, Bello said his administration has been left to shoulder the financial responsibility.
“So where is the support? At the moment we have not seen any Federal support here since this incident occurred. Yes we had a delegation that came to commensurate with, but we are left to ourselves,” he said, while expressing optimism about the release of the victims and the commitment of his administration to go to any length to rescue the victims.
“Yes, we had a delegation that came to visit and commiserate with us but that was all. So, we are left to ourselves.”
“We will use whatever means and resources available to make sure the children return home safely. We don’t have exact day and when these children will be released but I am sure that it will happen very soon,” he said.
Immediately the abduction took place, the Federal Government had sent a delegation including the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.); and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd); to Minna, the Niger State capital, to work with the state government and security agencies on the release of the victims
In his response, Kalu appealed to the Federal government to as a matter of necessity establish a joint security committee in the state and other troubled parts of the country to be able to have the representatives of all the forces in the state.
He said: “This will fast track getting back these innocent Boys and girls as quickly as possible. We sympathize with you and we share in your grieve at the moment. We know what you are going through and this why I am calling on the Federal Government to try to set up a joint security committee in your state to be able to have the representatives of all the forces stationed in the state to compliment the existing command in the state,” he said.