We are not in support of payment of ransom to bandits, says ACF

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has disclosed that it is against the payment of ransom to bandits to secure the release of abducted persons.

The forum however further revealed that it is in support of negotiating with bandits.

This position was made by the national publicity secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Emmanuel Yawe in Kaduna on Saturday.

The forum also thanked Nigerians who risked their lives in the negotiating process to free those held hostages by bandits.

Recall that students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna state were on Friday reunited with their families.

The students were abducted when gunmen attacked their school on March 12.

Although 39 of them were kidnapped during the attack, 10 were earlier released while the remaining students regained their freedom on Wednesday.

Commenting on the development, the ACF said: “We thank God for saving their lives and rejoice with their families both immediate and extended.

“Our only regret is that millions of naira were alleged to have been paid to the bandits before they granted freedom to the kidnapped students.”

The ACF appealed to the bandits holding other innocent people to set them free without further delay.

“Whatever may be the grievances of the kidnappers against society, spilling innocent blood will not be a solution,” the ACF said.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had also recently said the payment of ransom to bandits is “not the way out”, adding that the practice encourages kidnappings.