By JACOB KUBEKA, Abuja –
The Katsina State Police Command in North-West Nigeria said on Saturday that over 200 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, were rescued from gunmen who attacked the school on Friday night.
The command, however, did not specify the number of students abducted by the bandits, according to punchng.com.
Quoting a statement by the spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, the paper disclosed that a police inspector was injured during attempts to rescue the students.
The statement partly read, “The DPO rescued over two hundred students back into the school compound. The Police, Nigerian Army, and Nigerian Air Force are working closely with the school authorities to ascertain the actual number of the missing and/or kidnapped students while search parties are assiduously working with a view to finding and/or rescue the missing students.
“It will be too early to say at this particular moment the actual number of students that have been kidnapped or missing. ”
The incident happened on Friday night barely a few hours after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), arrived in his home state of Katsina for a week-long private visit.
Parents of wards have rushed to the school to know the fate of their children while security operatives were seen in strategic locations in the Kankara area of the state.
Reacting to the development, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday strongly condemned the bandits’ attack, charging the army and the police to go after the attackers to ensure that no student gets missing or harmed.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, the President urged the school authorities to carry out an audit of the population of the students following shootings in and around the school that sent hundreds of them fleeing and scrambling over perimeter walls.
Parents who rushed to the school and removed their children and wards were also required to notify the school and police authorities in order to have a full account of the school population.
“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,” said President Buhari while pledging to continue to support the police and military struggle against terrorists and bandits.
In the latest briefing received by the President from Governor Aminu Bello Masari, with whom he has been in touch, and the Army Chief of Staff, General Tukur Buratai, the 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.
The President directed the reinforcement of security of all schools in line with the safe schools policy of the administration. (with additional PUNCH report/photo)