Local hunters in Kebbi State, who vowed to track down the bandits holding over a hundred students and teachers of Federal Government College, Yauri, say they have abandoned the search because the state government was not supporting their efforts.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how bandits abducted about 102 students of the school on June 17.

Nigerian soldiers said they rescued three of the students and a staff member the following day but added that three other students died during the exercise. Two days ago, police in Zamfara State also announced the rescue of two more of the students.

The remaining students and staff members have, however, now been with the kidnappers for 45 days with the state government and security authorities not forthcoming on what efforts they are making to rescue them.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Governor Abubakar Bagudu vowed to lead hunters and vigilantes to rescue the victims from the bandits.

Angry hunters

But speaking over the phone with PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday morning, a leader of the hunters who had started tracking the bandits, Abdu Bagobiri, said they have aborted the mission.

He said this was because the state government has not shown sincerity in its promise to the hunters.

Mr Bagori said: “We didn’t just wake up and go to the bush. The governor blessed us before we started the mission and he promised to help us financially. But we have not seen the commitment.”

Asked if they had been given anything, he said the government gave them N30,000 but asked them to give it to their families in the understanding that more would be provided for them.

“We also chartered vehicles to take us into the bush because we told the state government that we would not be using their vehicles for security reasons. Apart from that, we were also given five thousand naira each and that is all.”

Mr Bagori said the group asked for guns, motorcycles and other weapons but despite assurances from the state government, they were yet to see anything.

“I cannot continue to lead people into the bush when we do not have the required weapons to confront the bandits. If we have guns and motorcycles, we would not be waiting for anyone. Once we hear there is an attack, we will just mobilise and counter the gunmen.”

However, Mr Bagori said they would be ready to resume their operation when the state government provides them with what they require.

But in his response, the Special Adviser to the governor on security matters, Rabiu Kamba, said Mr Bagori’s allegations are unfounded.

He said the state government has provided the necessary assistance to the hunters and “a request from them is currently on the governor’s desk for his approval.”

Kebbi State, situated North-west Nigeria, is one of the states battling banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling.

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