Buhari reacts to Zamfara abduction of schoolgirls, says we’ll not succumb to blackmail
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the latest abduction of hundreds of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara, as inhumane and totally unacceptable. The president, who stated this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, warned bandits and their sponsors that his government would not succumb to blackmail. While reacting to the incident, President Buhari said:
“This administration will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectations of huge ransom payments. ”No criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government. ”The only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement. “We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.” According to him, the primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed. Buhari noted that “a hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors”.
He warned the bandits: “Let them not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government. ”They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.” He advised state governments to review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that ”the policy might boomerang disastrously”. He also urged states and local governments to be more proactive by improving security around schools and their surroundings.
Prison Breakout Left 25 Dead As Over 400 Escaped, Officials Say
More than 400 prisoners were on the run after they escaped from jail in a violent breakout that left 25 people dead, including the prison director, officials said. The escape which happened from a jail led to the death of bystanders who were caught up in the violence.
One of those who fled, a notorious gang leader named as Arnel Joseph, was killed hours after escaping.
Joseph, still wearing prison ankle cuffs, was a passenger on a motorcycle that was flagged down at a checkpoint,
According to police spokesman Gary Desrosiers, Joseph, was still wearing prison ankle cuffs when he boarded a motorcycle .
The motorcycle was flagged down at a checkpoint but failed to stop.
Joseph then pulled a gun on officers who then shot and killed him, Desrosiers said.
Joseph was Haiti’s most-wanted gang leader before his arrest in 2019.
Eye Witnesses reported hearing bursts of gunfire as prisoners ran away from the prison.
Staff at a nearby clothing store told reporters that the prisoners forced them to give out clothing items.
The Croix-des-Bouquets jail was inaugurated in 2012 and was designed for a maximum capacity of 872 inmates
It’s not the first time jail outbreaks is happening in Haiti.
In 2019, all 78 inmates of Aquin prison in southern Haiti escaped while police were distracted by anti-government protests nearby.
In 2017 more than 170 inmates escaped from a prison in Arcahaie, north of Port-au-Prince.
Frantz Exantus, Haiti’s Communications Secretary, reacting to the incident said;
“Twenty-five people died including six prisoners and Divisional Inspector Paul Hector Joseph who was in charge of the prison,” he said.
“Among those killed were some ordinary citizens who were killed by the prisoners during their escape,” he added.