287 Kaduna Students In Bandits’ Custody – ‘Lucky’ Teacher Laments

  • Gov Uba assures on freedom, safe return of abductees

BY OUR CORRESPONDENT – One of the teachers who luckily escaped from the bandits’ attack on Government Secondary School (GSS), Kuriga in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Thursday, March 7, 2024, Sani Abdullahi, says about 287 students are now being held in captivity.

This is as the Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani assured that the government is working with National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu on efforts to ensure the security forces rescue the children and other victims unhurt from their captors.

Abdullahi, who spoke when Governor Uba Sani led government officials to the scene of the incident on Thursday evening, explained that the bandits took everyone by surprise with their sudden invasion of the school.

According to him; “I resumed to the school today at exactly 7:47 am. I entered the Acting Principal’s office and signed. All of a sudden, the Acting Principal asked me to look at my back and when I turned, we discovered that bandits had surrounded the school premises.

“We became confused, we didn’t know where to go. Then, the bandits asked us to enter the bush, so, we obeyed them because they were many and the pupils, who were about 700, were following us. So, when we entered the bush, I was lucky to escape alongside many others. I returned to the village and reported what happened to the community.

“So, immediately our vigilante and personnel of KADVIS followed the bandits, but the vigilante did not succeed. In fact, the bandits killed one of the vigilantes, we just buried him a short while ago. It was when we came back from that pursuit that we briefed the Village Head and we started making efforts to know the actual number of pupils and teachers taken away by the bandits.

“At GSS Kuriga, 187 students are presently missing. In the primary school, 125 pupils were initially missing, but, 25 of them escaped and returned home.”

Governor Uba, while addressing the community, said with the essence of government being the protection of citizens’ lives and property, his administration would leave no stone unturned in ensuring the safe return of the children and all abductees.

He assured the people thus; “In my capacity as your elected Governor, I am assuring you that by the grace of God, all the children will return unhurt. Before coming here, I spoke with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu and we are making efforts, the security forces have swung into action, and by God’s grace, we will rescue the children.

“We will do whatever we need to do to ensure the safe return of these children, even if it means coming to Kuriga to stay with you. The essence of government is the protection of citizens’ lives and property. We recognize the fact that we are holding this position in trust for the people and by God’s grace, we will protect the citizens’ rights. I am one of the prominent voices on the issue of security. When I was in the Senate, I moved the motion for the creation of State Police.

“We have realised that there are not enough boots on the ground, that is why we feel that if there is State Police, every community like Kuriga will have people in the Police and they would be armed with AK-47 rifles. That is the only way we would be able to protect the lives and property of the citizens. The vigilantes are not as armed as the bandits, because they don’t have AK-47, that is why the bandits are constantly causing us destruction. They come in to humiliate, kill, and abduct our citizens.

“Since I received the sad news of this incident, I have not had rest of mind because every child in Kaduna state is my child. So, I don’t want you people to be disturbed. Let us pray to God to help and on our part as a government, we will not rest until these children return home.”

Also promising that a Police Station and military camp would be established in the community going forward, Governor Uba said the government plans to select seven people from the community to be part of a committee that would constantly have discussions and engage the government on making the environment safe and secure for the community members and other residents within the area.

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