One of the aides to the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on Thursday has said that gunmen who attacked Government Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of the state and kidnapped over 300 schoolboys are members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
Gunmen had on December 11 invaded the school, shooting into the air to scare away people in the area.
He said, "We are discussing through the leadership of MACBAN, Miyetti Allah with those suspected to have carried out the abduction. I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and heads of security agencies two or three hours ago.
"There are talks. It is not about who is in charge, but what is of paramount concern to me as the chief security officer of the state is that these students return home safely. This is what we are talking about."
However, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Alhassan Saleh, dissociated the group from any discussion with the gunmen.
"I'm not aware of any discussion with any group; you are the second person I will hear this from. A colleague of yours called me in the morning, and I told him the same thing. I have spoken to the state chairman, and he said he wasn't aware of any discussion or negotiation with the schoolboy's abductors,"
Masari's aide, however, told SaharaReporters to ignore the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah group.
"That's his business, but I can assure you we are in discussion with the local chapter of Miyetti Allah, the government is in discussion with them. The chairman of the local Miyetti Allah is a civil servant with the state government.
"What the governor said( because I was there) was that they are talking with the bandits, not negotiation. They are talking through Miyetti Allah; the government is talking through Miyetti Allah.
"The military in the theatre of the operation are now talking directly to the bandits, but the government is talking through Miyetti Allah.
"Miyetti Allah is umbrella body of Fulani, so they are talking with some of the leaders for them to persuade their members."