Officials are believed to have contacted the kidnappers through community leaders.
Negotiations are under way between Nigerian officials and an armed gang that abducted 42 people, including 27 children from a boarding school in Nigeria’s Kagara district on Wednesday.
Heavily armed men in military uniforms raided the Government Scientific College in Kagara, killing one student and dragging others into a nearby forest.
On Friday, government representatives were in contact with the people holding these students, Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris said, reporting from Abuja.
Any military action could result in unnecessary deaths so the government took a position to first try to see how a peace negotiation could bring these children to safety, he said, adding that security forces have determined the location of kidnappers.
The state government said it has contacted these people through community leaders who they believe know them.
On Thursday, the Nigerian Police Force said in a statement that a massive search and rescue mission was being carried out alongside the army in which helicopters, counterintelligence unit forces and intelligence agents were stationed.
Niger State government officials have said they believe the attack was carried out by bandits the term used in Nigeria to describe armed gangs attacking communities and kidnapping for ransom. A breeze of attacks has been carried out by such groups in the last year.
On Wednesday, Defense Minister Bashir Salihi Magashi told reporters: We should not be cowards. I do not know why people are running away from small, small, small things like this. They have to stay. Let these people know that even the villagers have the ability and ability to defend themselves.
You are on your own!
Magashis’ comments drew widespread criticism.
People cannot defend themselves with bare hands as they face bandits who are increasingly taking up more sophisticated weapons, said Isa Sanusi, an Amnesty International spokesman.
He said the Nigerian authorities had a duty to protect lives and property and should not blame people.
Kayode Ogundamisi, a commentator on Nigerian affairs, wrote on Twitter: Simply put, do not say YOU ARE ON YOURSELF!
The latest mass kidnapping came just two months after 300 students were abducted from a school in Kankara in nearby Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buharis, while the president was visiting the region.
The boys were later released after negotiations with government officials, but the incident sparked outrage and memories of the abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls by gunmen in Dapchi and Chibok that rocked the world.
Of the at least 276 girls abducted by the Boko Haram group from Chibok, at least 100 are still unaccounted for.
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