We Have Secured Release of over 1,000 Captives Without Ransom, Says Matawalle

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Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State yesterday said his government has secured the release of more than 1,000 people from their captors without paying a ransom.

Speaking on a live TV programme, the governor explained that the government’s approach has ensured the return of some people who fled their homes due to attacks.

He promised to always do everything possible to make Zamfara State safe.

“We have also secured the release of 1,000 captives without paying any ransom,” the governor said.

“We equally received over 300 sophisticated weapons surrendered by bandits and their leaders.”

The governor also believed that if other governors adopt dialogue, criminality will be reduced in Nigeria.

“To me, as a leader, I cannot fold my arms seeing my people killed every day. I have to initiate anything I know I can to be able to make my people sleep with their both eyes closed,” the governor said.

“That’s why I have to initiate that dialoguing with these people. And I believe that by the time all governors come together and agree on doing so, we can be able to secure our country.”

Matawale, however, does not support the payment of money to kidnappers and other criminals, reiterating that the abductors of the schoolboys were not paid any ransom.

“I have said it earlier, nothing has been paid to them,” the governor insisted.

“If you are giving them money, they can use the same money to acquire more weapons which I believe we cannot do. These people, they can listen and you can discuss with them,” he explained, stating that the Zamfara State government is working to empower some of the repentant bandits so they do not go back to crime.