The Federal Government has insisted that it did not pay ransom to secure the release of the 137 schoolchildren kidnapped from Kuriga, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made the remarks on Monday, shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the Federal Government policy of non-payment of ransom to free abductees was still in effect, noting that similar thing played out in the case of the Kuriga schoolchildren.

Idris said the president appreciated the role of the security services in the safe return of the abductees and vowed that all those involved in such acts in the country would be fished out.

It will be recalled that the entire country was thrown into confusion when news filtered in that over 200 students had been kidnapped from their school premises in Kaduna State.

The development prompted the presidency to issue a stern directive to the security agencies to go after the abductors and release the captives without any casualty.

The students were released on Sunday through a combined effort of the security personnel, prompting President Bola Tinubu to renew his vow to protect all educational facilities from such ugly occurrence. He said, “For the schoolchildren of Kuriga in Kaduna State, and Sokoto States.

Mr. President and members of council were happy to note that as promised by Mr. President, these children were reunited or had been rescued from these captors and as usual in keeping with the commitment of Mr. President, no ransom was paid.

“The Federal Executive Council and Mr. President are very grateful to especially the National Security Adviser, the service chiefs and all security agents who participated diligently in ensuring that this kidnapped children are reunited with their families.

“Government is determined to ensure that the lives and property of all Nigerians are protected at all times and Mr. President has also charged security agencies to ensure that these kidnappings are brought to a halt finally in this country”.

The information minister reassured that all those participating in this criminal act will be fished out by the security agencies and will never go unpunished.