I’d rather die than pay ransom to kidnappers, says el-Rufai’s wife - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

I’d rather die than pay ransom to kidnappers, says el-Rufai’s wife

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By Our Correspondent

Aisha, wife of Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says she will prefer to die than for a ransom to be paid to kidnappers if she is abducted.

There has been a series of abductions across the country in recent years, with kidnappers demanding ransom running into millions of naira.

Speaking on Wednesday while addressing participants at a peace and security training organised for women by Equal Access International (EAI), Aisha said she supported the position of the Kaduna state government on not paying ransom to kidnappers.

El-Rufai has maintained that his government will not pay ransom to bandits, as such actions encourage more criminal activities.

Aisha said she is ready to die in the hands of kidnappers, if it will bring peace to the country.

She urged Nigerians to support efforts to restore peace in the country, noting that women have a great role to play in achieving that.

“We must sacrifice to bring this (kidnapping) to an end. I am ready to die in the hands of kidnappers if it will bring peace to this country,” she said.

“For as long as you continue to pay ransom, it is like you are adding kerosene to fire. You are giving bandits, kidnappers money for ammunition to continue to haunt you.

“We should not pay ransom. This is my personal opinion. I have said it before and I will say it again. If I am kidnapped, don’t pay any ransom. Rather, pray for me that if it is death, I go in a good way, and if I am going to be released, that I am not violated.”

According to her, as long as kidnappers are paid ransom, they will not change.

“Collectively, as a country we have to say ‘no’. We cannot continue to give them our hard-earned money to buy weapons and drugs to kill and maim our children,” the governor’s wife said.

“If we don’t put a stop to this, they will destroy us all. They will even kidnap the person that takes the ransom to them.

“You will see that some of them you even give the ransom and they still kill the person. So, you have lost twice.”

Commenting on the recent communal clashes in parts of Kaduna state, Aisha urged women to shun divisive narratives created by selfish politicians, and work for the unity of the state.

In his remarks, Maaji Peters, country director of the EAI, said the training was aimed at securing Nigerian communities through the creation of civilian security (CIVSEC), who will make contributions and decisions on issues that affects them and their communities.