The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, has given an assurance that all the schoolboys missing in Katsina State will return home in the next few hours.
He gave the assurance on Sunday when he led a delegation of the Federal Government, including the service chiefs to Katsina to symphathise with the parents and teachers of the victims, as well as the state government over the abduction.
This comes two days after bandits stormed the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, a Local Government Area in Katsina with hundreds of students missing in the process.
Simple To Accomplish?
“Today, we are here also to symphathise with you over the recent abduction of secondary school students, which is more or less a ruthless exercise conducted to tamper with the education of the students,” the minister told Governor Aminu Masari who received the delegation at the Government House.
He added, “With the brief we received from the sister security agencies in the state, this task will be very simple to accomplish.
“Within the next few hours, we will ensure that these people are back without any collateral damage to the people of Katsina State; we have strategised.”
General Magashi admitted that the confusion arising in the affected local government has testified to the fact that the military, the police, and other security agencies must move faster to ensure that the students were rescued.
He stressed that bandits must not be allowed to rest for a moment, saying it was about time bandits were proscribed as terrorists to effectively curb their activities in the North West and other parts of the country.
333 Students Missing
The minister stated, “All hands are on deck to ensure we accomplish our tasks within the Armed Forces and the police.
“I was here around August on the same kind of mission to sympathise with the government regarding the farmers and herders clashes.”
In his response, Governor Masari informed the delegation that 333 students were still unaccounted for as the school attacked by the bandits had a population of 839 students.
He, however, noted that the government has yet to get an accurate figure as some missing students were coming out from the forest and parents were being contacted through their phone numbers to find out whether their children were home.
“Based on the available record we have, we are still searching for 333 students through either the forest or their parents to ascertain the actual number (of students) that have been kidnapped.
“We, as government, we are yet to be contacted by any group or person responsible for the kidnap of the students,” the governor said.