Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with Abubakar Bello, Governor of Niger State, Wednesday evening, at the State House, Abuja where it was believed they both talked about security in the Northcentral state.
The agenda of the meeting was not immediately made public, but the meeting was on the Wednesday abduction of 27 students, three staff and 12 family members from Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kagara, Rafi Council Area of Niger State by terrorists.
The incident occurred about two months after 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina, Northwestern Nigeria, were abducted by a terror group.
The Kankara schoolboys were released less than two weeks after payment of a ransom to the terror group.
The President, in a statement released by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, had earlier condemned the abduction and ordered a quick rescue operation.
He expressed sadness over a victim’s death and called the act cowardly, vowing to restore normalcy in the country’s security situation.
Governor Bello, who spoke to State House correspondents, thanked President Buhari for swiftly ordering actions on the GSSS Kagara school kidnap.
The governor revealed that he had requested more security personnel and equipment to fast-track results in the state’s rescue operation.
“I came in this evening to thank Mr President for his quick response to the plight of Nigerlites, following two serious kidnap incidences,” Bello said.
“At the same time, we rubbed minds on what we think should be done so that we find an everlasting solution to the situation and Mr President has confirmed to me that this matter will be given proper attention.”
“We’ll continue engaging the service chiefs and the federal so that we can guide and advise them on what we think should be done. So I think it was a wonderful meeting.”
He also expressed support for the nation’s upper chamber’s call for the declaration of a state of emergency on security in the country.
Bello said the call had become imperative to address security challenges experienced in some parts of the country.
“At the moment, if you look at what is happening, we are having security challenges in almost all parts of the country, so yes there’s a need to install some form of emergency on security matters across the board,” he said.
“So yes, I think the Senate acted in good faith. Something definitely needs to be done.”
“To be honest, I’m very convinced by what Mr President told me and I feel I’ve seen the presence of the military in Kagara, I was there earlier today, and I also request for some additional personnel and equipment, which I believe will be granted any moment from now.”
“Right now, our immediate priority is to get the kidnapped victims released, after that, I think we must have a long-lasting solution to the farmers/herders conflicts,’’ he added.
We Will Rescue The Victims – Defence Minister
Bashir Magashi, Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, says the government will ensure the swift and safe rescue of the abducted.
The minister said the government would replicate the success in freeing the Kankara schoolboys in the Kagara incident.
“We have demonstrated our ability to take on the challenge. We have done it in Katsina; when children were kidnapped, within two days, we got them back. Hopefully, this time, we will do the same to get these captives back. We are planning,” Magashi said.
“We have not got feedback on the activities going on in Niger State. But before the end of the day, we will be given a full brief on what is going on in Niger state.”
Abductions Of Students As New Strategy By Terrorists
Copying Boko Haram’s strategy, terror groups in Northern Nigeria have resorted to storming boarding schools to abduct students to request a ransom.
Niger State houses many terrorists that include Boko Haram members and other terror groups known locally as bandits.
An investigation by HumAngle revealed that the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram had 400 active fighters in the state as of last year.
After the kidnap of Kankara schoolchildren, another foiled attempt to kidnap 80 schoolchildren at Dandume, Katsina State, was recorded.
Security experts warned that the abduction of the schoolchildren would have devastating consequences to education in Northern Nigeria.
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