Nigeria 'Will Not Pay Ransom' To Secure Release Of French Hostages

Nigeria has assured it will work for the safe release of the French family of seven who were abducted in northern Cameroon and taken to Nigeria last month.
Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru gave the assurance on Saturday evening, after the meeting between Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the presidential wing of the Namdi Azikiwe International Airport in the capital city of Abuja.

'Federal government with all the security agencies is doing everything to possible to ensure that we can get the hostages released without harm done to them. So, we are doing everything possible. 

We want it to end peacefully so that no hostage will be harmed in the process,' Mr. Ashiru said.

He said, however, that Nigeria would not pay any ransom to secure the release of the hostages.

'We don't' pay ransom to terrorists but we are doing everything possible to ensure that we get the hostages released as part of our own policy,' the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister said.

He said the meeting also reviewed the relations between the two countries.

'We were able to review the relations between our two countries. We are satisfied with the political relations, quite robust relations between us. 

On the economic level also, a number of French companies are very active here. So, we reviewed all these relations and we are happy that we are both doing very well.

'At the regional level, we reviewed the security situation in Mali. Of course I must take this opportunity to again thank France for what they did in Mali, for the decisive intervention because if the French had not taken the steps they did at that time, Mali would have today become a terrorist country and if that happened, the target would be to further distabilise the sub-region.
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