The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday, says the abduction of students in the country will not become a norm as his regime is committed to protecting the lives and property of all Nigerians.
Buhari, who stated this in his 2021 New Year Broadcast, said security forces and other stakeholders showed professionalism in the release of over 300 schoolboys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina, last year.
He said, “In line with the current security challenges, we are facing as a Nation, I would like to reiterate the promise I made recently when over 300 of our boys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara were successfully rescued by our security operatives.
“The professionalism shown by our Security Forces and the collaboration from all stakeholders across both State and Federal Governments that led to the successful rescue of the boys is proof that Nigeria has the internal capacity to decisively deal with terror attacks on our citizens.
“However, we recognise that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm. Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing.”
UGAMATV had earlier reported that gunmen on motorcycles attacked Kankara on December 11 and abducted the students a few hours after the President arrived in the state for a week-long private visit.
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, however, announced the release of the 344 schoolboys six days after their abduction by bandits.
Buhari has come under fire since the release of the schoolboys as many Nigerians and some socio-cultural groups including Afenifere believed the abduction was stage-managed.
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 are still detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.