Protests in Katsina as Bandits Kidnap Over 300 Boys Hours After President Buhari’s Arrival

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SWITZERLAND, DECEMBER 14 – Protests have erupted in the town of Kankara, Katsina state, as residents call on the government to act fast after suspected bandits abducted over 300 boys from a secondary school in the town.

Several questions are being asked as to why this heinous incidence could happen while the president was around in the same state, visiting his hometown, Daura.

Today’s Echo gathers that President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, December 11, 2020, landed in, Daura, Katsina State, to start a one-week long private visit,

Today’s Echo gathers that attackers on motorcycles stormed the all-boys Government Science School late on Friday and engaged security forces in a fierce gun battle, forcing hundreds of students to flee and hide in the surrounding forest.

“So far we are yet to account for 333 pupils,” Katsina Governor Aminu Masari said on Sunday after a meeting with security officials, adding that the boarding school had a total of 839 students.

Masari said students who managed to escape the attack have been coming out of hiding in the forest. It is unclear if the students initially hid or they escaped from their attackers.

“Efforts are being made to ascertain the actual number of children that have been kidnapped,” said Masari.

Meanwhile, parents and family members on Sunday gathered at the school, issuing a plea to authorities to bring the missing boys to safety.

“If it’s not government that will help us, we have no power to rescue our children,” Murja Mohammed, whose son was taken, told Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, the hashtag BringBackOurBoys was trending on social media in Nigeria on Sunday as public outrage grew about an attack that initially saw 600 boys missing.

Defence Minister Major General Bashir Salihi-Magash, who met Masari, the governor, said the military will pursue the attackers and rescue the students without any collateral damage.

“We will go the whole hog,” said Salihi-Magash. “We have the intelligence, the information where they are and their movement and their method of operation.”

Another parent, Abubakar Lawal, came from Zaria, a city 120km (75 miles) south of Kankara, after learning that two of his three sons at the school were among the missing.

“From yesterday I was here, praying that the almighty Allah should rescue our people,” he said on Sunday, outside the dusty school grounds.

One of his missing sons, 17-year-old Buhari, was named after President Muhammadu Buhari, a native of Katsina state.

Anas, 16, was also missing. Lawal said the school principal addressed parents, telling them to pray.

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