El-Rufai insists paying ransom will encourage banditry
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s position on the kidnap of some university students in the state by alleged bandits who are demanding N800 million ransom is that the government will not negotiate with bandits.
However, this professor, who is the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Usman Yusuf has said that Governor is endangering the lives of Nigerians and his family by insisting on not paying ransom to bandits.
Yusuf said this in a statement dated May 1 titled, ‘Gov. El-Rufa’i: Deaf, Dumb and Blind,’ seen by The International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR.
According to Yusuf, the ‘boastful’ comments of El-Rufai about not paying bandits was responsible for the increase in banditry in Kaduna State.
“His unguarded utterances are irresponsible, dangerous and unbecoming of a leader at a time of national crisis. He is endangering the lives of millions of people including his family by saying that he would not pay ransom even if his family member is kidnapped,” Yusuf said.
He also suggested that the Nigerian government and El-Rufai had been lenient in the recovery of abducted students in the state because most of them were Christians.
Yusuf claimed that the Nigerian government was quick to secure the recovery of the Muslim students that were abducted in Kankara, Kagara and Jangebe in Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states respectively.
“Sheikh Gumi and I have been inundated by subtle and sometimes not so subtle suggestions that Gov. El-Rufai and the Federal Government do not care about the fate of these students because they are predominantly (82 per cent) Christian,” said Yusuf.
The former NHIS boss also said he was aware that hundreds or thousands of residents in Kaduna state were dialoguing daily with kidnappers to secure the release of their loved ones as a result of the failure of the government to live up to its responsibility of protecting the people.
- What Pastor Adeboye told Kaduna state governor, Nasir El Rufai
- MURIC slams NBA over withdrawal of El-Rufai’s name, orders northern lawyers to boycott conference
- 2023: I won’t vote a Northerner to be president – El-Rufai
The ICIR had reported that El-Rufai had insisted that he would neither negotiate nor pay ransom for the release of any resident of Kaduna State and would prosecute anyone caught doing so on behalf of the state.
‘There is only one option that is the only logical and sensible option. All other options are irrational emotional and stupid,” said El-Rufai.
Against his current stance, El-Rufai while criticising the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in an interview in 2014, had suggested that every option should be adopted to rescue the Chibok girls kidnapped that year.
“I am in support of any option to rescue the girls because when you have the lives of your citizens at risk, you should not take any option off the table; you should be flexible,” he had said.
In 2016, El-Rufai was quoted as saying that he paid Fulanis to stop the killings in Southern Kaduna.
In April, Kaduna State witnessed several violent attacks, ranging from kidnap and abduction to the killing of innocent civilians.
PS: The ICIR originally published this story. NTN republishes it here with an adjustment to the headline