Despite being in Daura, Katsina State, on a week-long private visit, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has failed to visit Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in the state over the abduction of at least 333 schoolboys.
Bandits had stormed the school on Friday night and abducted the students after a gun duel with the police. The President arrived in the state on Friday hours before the abduction took place.
Buhari, who was yet to visit the school, however, sent a Federal Government delegation from Abuja to Katsina on Sunday to condole with the government and people of the state over the attack.
Minister of Defence, Gen. Salihi Magashi (retd.), led the nation’s service chiefs on the sympathy visit to the state today. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, are members of the delegation.
Briefing the delegation on Sunday, Governor Aminu Masari, said, “The children so far kidnapped cut across the state because the boarding school houses all children from all parts of the state and some even from outside the state.
“It has a population of 839 and so far we are yet to account for 333 students. We are still counting because more are coming out from the forest and we are calling those parents that have phone numbers to find out whether or not their children have gone back home.”
The governor, who said the bandits were yet to contact either the government or anybody on the abduction, has also ordered the closure of schools in the state.
The defence minister, in his response, assured the state of the Federal Government’s assistance in securing the release of the schoolboys.
From 2015 till date, the Buhari regime is infamous for its response during crisis as the President is wont to sending delegations to crisis-torn places, an action that has attracted censure from many Nigerians who expect him to show leadership in times of tragedy and emergency by leading from the front just like other world leaders.
Buhari had condemned the abduction of the schoolboys in a statement by the Presidency on Saturday but many Nigerians expect more including a presidential address.
Our source earlier reported that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party has since slammed Buhari over the attack which happened the same day he arrived in his home state.
Global rights group, Amnesty International, has also condemned the abduction of the schoolboys while calling on the Buhari regime to ensure their speedy release.
The Kankara students’ abduction is not the first in the history of the nation. Non-state actors had in the past abducted hundreds of secondary school girls from Chibok, in Borno State; and Dapchi in Yobe State. Some of them eventually regained freedom while a number of them were detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.