Katsina State Government has ruled out the payment of ransom to kidnappers to secure the release of abducted citizens of the state who are in captivity.
The government expressed worry over the implication of payment of ransom for national security that could lead to anarchy as the hoodlums use ransom to purchase weapons and continue to unleash terror on the citizens.
Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Bello Masari on Security Matters, Alhaji Ibrahim Katsina, while reacting to the resurgence of kidnap-for-ransom in the state, urged families of abducted victims to desist from paying ransom to the hoodlums.
He explained that such ransom payments only encourage and empower the bandits to fund their criminal activities and wreak more havoc on the villages, communities and the people.
According to him, “The position of the state government is that no ransom should be paid to bandits or terrorists to secure release of victims because the moment you stop paying ransom, it will discourage the bandits from venturing into kidnap adventure.
“But when you make payment, you are empowering them (bandits) and they will use your money to buy weapons to harass other people. We are discouraging residents of the state from patronising the activities of these bandits.
“And I think if the communities resist and are determined to take the advice of the state government, this issue (banditry) will be over. There is no reason why you should empower the bandits by payment of any kind of ransom.
“The state government is against it and we are not encouraging anybody to succumb to the blackmail or the intimidation of the criminal elements. If the bandits realise they will not get payment, they will release the people. And I am happy that the people of Bakiyawa refused to pay. They should not pay.”
He, however, said the state government and security agencies were investigating the circumstances surrounding the recent upsurge of attacks and kidnappings in the state in order to take preventive measures.