The gory news of the Mass Kidnap came in on Saturday, December 12, 2020 as the Katsina State Police Command confirmed the attack in a press release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah.
According to the statement, some bandits attacked Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State. The bandits retreated to the forest with many students whose actual number is yet to be ascertained after they were engaged by the Police force.
The police claimed it rescued over 200 students in its course of its Investigation while one Inspector sustained a gunshot wound and has been taken to the hospital.
Bandits Hideout Discovered as the Military Engages
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammad Buhari, who was in Katsina on a ‘private visit’ during the time of the attack has condemned the horrific act in a statement published by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He said: “I strongly condemn the cowardly bandits’ attack on innocent children at the Science School, Kankara. Our prayers are with the families of the students, the school authorities and the injured,”
He also confirmed that the military has located the bandits’ hideout and it is engaging the hoodlums.
“… military, supported by air power has located the bandits’ enclave at Zango/Paula forest in Kankara and there have been exchange of fire in an ongoing operation. Police said so far, there has not been reported any student casualty.”
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All Boarding Schools in Katsina Locked Down
The State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, while speaking at the scene of the incident has announced his swift actions; locking down all boarding schools in the state as he assured the safe return of the missing students.
“The situation goes beyond one’s thinking. It’s a sad moment for Katsina, I am assuring parents of the missing students we will do anything humanly possible to rescue the children, it’s our responsibility to protect lives and properties.
“As I am speaking to you now, the soldiers are in the bush engaging the militants in a fire fight, I plead with you to exercise patience, we will rescue the children and I also ordered for the closure of all schools to save the children,” the governor said.
PDP Rebukes Buhari, Says he’s “Totally Incapable”
The People’s Democratic Party through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan blasted the presidency for allowing such gruesome attack happen despite its presence in the state.
The party expresses its displeasure over the gruesome attack and calls on the President to give account on the incessant insecurity in the nation.
The party also rebukes the president for not honouring the call of the members of the House of Representatives over the deafening noise of bandits and terrorists’ attacks all over the country.
“This development has further exposed the failure of President Buhari to manage high level security intelligence that ought to accompany a presidential visit,” the statement reads in part.
The statement further reads:
“The PDP notes as distressing that President Buhari, who refused to honour an invitation by the House of Representatives for a collective deliberation on security, could abandon his duty post for a holiday, leaving our national flanks open for terrorists, bandits, vandals, and insurgents.
The time of the attack buttresses the fact that President Buhari, as the commander-in-chief, is totally incapable of securing our nation; the very reason there have been widespread calls by patriotic Nigerians that he should resign.”
Also reacting to the incident, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has sympathised with the families of the abducted students. He made the statement via his official social media handles (Twitter).
“My thoughts and prayers are with the abducted pupils of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
I urge their parents and guardians to exercise calm while we trust that security operatives would give their best to ensure a safe rescue. No resource should be spared in rescuing them.”
Nigerians have called on the presidency to quickly bring back the kidnapped students in order to avoid history of the Chibok girls repeating itself.