The Governor of Katsina State, Malam Dikko Umaru Radda has vowed that his administration would never negotiate with terrorists or pay ransoms to secure the release of abductees.
Radda disclosed this during a chat with newsmen on Wednesday to mark the completion of his administration’s first 100 days in office, while expressing worries that yielding to such demands could encourage incessant kidnappings.
“We will never negotiate with terrorists, no matter what they do, neither will we pay them to release victims abducted. If we continue to pay ransom, we don’t know how many more people they will kidnap. They may kidnap all of us, believing that the government will pay ransom,” Radda said.
Governor Radda explained that the ongoing security hurdle posed by terrorist activities in the frontline Local Government Areas of the state were distorting government resources, adding that the state government had allocated a substantial N7 billion for the acquisition of armoured vehicles and related equipment for use by security agencies to assist in combating terrorism effectively.
While pointing out that his administration would not pay ransom to terrorists for hostage release, the Katsina Governor said its doors remained open to accepting individuals who sincerely renounce terrorism and criminal activities.
Governor Radda also gave an insight into the financial challenges confronted by the state government, including servicing debts inherited from the previous administration, with a monthly deduction of N1.5 billion from the Federation Account Allocation Committee allocation. Besides, there are obligations to service local debts owed to contractors and other financial commitments.
Some of the achievement listed by Governor Radda in the first 100 days of his administration includes the recruitment and training of 1,500 youths into Katsina Community Watch Corps, procurement and free distribution of 36,100 bags of maize and 40,000 bags of rice to alleviate the hardship resulting from the removal of fuel subsidies; the release of N600 million for the acquisition of 40 new buses for intracity and intercity transportation to ease movement; among several others.