Hundreds of students are still unaccounted for following bandits attack on a secondary school in Katsina on Friday Night.
The Katsina incident which happened barely eight days after Boko Haram slaughtered over 100 farmers in Borno State, came just hours after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in his home town Daura in Katsina State for a 7 days private visit.
Interestingly, Buhari’s trip to Daura was done a day after he made a remarkable volte-face, after initially agreeing to appear before the National Assembly (NASS) to brief lawmakers of efforts that his government has been making to curb widespread insecurity.
Notwithstanding, he has directed the army and the police to go after the bandits immediately with a view to rescuing the missing children.
On his part, the state governor, Aminu Bello Masari ordered the closure of all boarding schools to avert a reoccurrence.
Although he said the number of abducted students cannot be yet ascertained, he noted that 426 students had been counted as safe.
“This incident has gone beyond imagination,” he said in Hausa.
“For us, it’s highly worrisome and disturbing. I am assuring parents and guardians of these children that – we couldn’t say that we are more disturbed than them – but to rest assured that we share the same worries with them, because we know that we have the responsibility to protect their lives and their health.”
He went on to note that he had met with the army, who told him they were on top of the situation as efforts intensified to locate the bandits.
“And by God’s grace, we will do all that it takes to rescue the entire abducted students,” Masari said.
“I urge you people in the name of Allah and his prophet to please remain patient and intensify prayers.
“This is because sharing blames and all sorts of abuses are not the solution in this trying time. Honestly speaking, we are not enjoying what is taking place and we are not executing what we are supposed to do when it comes to the issue of protection of the lives of our people.
“We want to assure you that we will do all that is possible on the school children, as we have directed the immediate closure of all schools in the state and that all students should be taken back home.”
Meanwhile, stakeholders are worried at the actions and inaction of the president that seem to have diminished governance and portrayed Nigerians as being taken for a ride.
They are also questioning the imperative of a seven-day private trip by a commander-in-chief at a time that strategic sessions are ultra-important in reducing the spate of killings, abductions and other violent crimes that have enveloped the country.
Reacting to the sad developments, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has charged Buhari to cut short his holiday and immediately take steps to rescue the kidnapped students.
The party’s national publicity secretary at a press conference addressed in Abuja, said the party was shocked that the abduction took place a few hours after President Buhari arrived Katsina for a holiday, adding that the development showed that no security intelligence was done before the president’s trip.