Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Governor on Thursday revealed that but for the timely release of the 29 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, his plan was to attack and kill the bandits even if the students became collateral damage.
El-Rufai added that somehow, the bandits got hint of the planned attack and hurriedly changed location which led to the students spending over a month in captivity.
El Rufai revealed this during webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Group tagged: ‘Developing a Viable Nation 2’ was hosted by Pastor of Trinity House Church, Ituah Ighodalo.
Responding to a question on his refusal to negotiate with bandits, the governor said, “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 claimed that insecurity in Kaduna was not as bad as Niger, Katsina and Zamfara but the media only focused attention on his state because it fitted into their narrative of ethnic clashes.
El-Rufai said in Katsina and Niger states, entire villages were sacked by bandits but nothing of such happened in Kaduna.