Sani Abdullahi, one of the teachers of Government Secondary School (GSS), Kuriga in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, says a total of 287 students are in captivity.

Daily Trust had reported how bandits invaded the school on Thursday morning, abducting pupils and teachers.

“We became confused, we didn’t know where to go. Then, the bandits asked us to enter the bush, so we obeyed them because they were many and the pupils, who are about 700, were following us. So, when we entered the bush, I was lucky to escape alongside many others. I returned to the village and reported what happened to the community. 

So, immediately our vigilante and personnel of KADVIS followed the bandits, but the vigilante did not succeed, in fact, the bandits killed one of the vigilante, we just buried him a short while ago.

“It was when we came back from that pursuit that we briefed the Village Head and we started making efforts to know the actual number of pupils and teachers taken away by the bandits. At GSS Kuriga, 187 students are presently missing. In the primary school, 125 pupils were initially missing, but, 25 of them escaped and returned home.”

Addressing the community, the governor said, “In my capacity as your elected Governor, I am assuring you that by the grace of God, all the children will return unhurt. Before coming here, I spoke with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu and we are making efforts, the security forces have swung into action and by God’s grace, we will rescue the children.

“We will do whatever we need to do to ensure safe return of these children, even if it means coming to Kuriga to stay with you. The essence of government is protection of citizens lives and property. We recognized the fact that we are holding this position in trust for the people and by God’s grace, we will protect the citizens’ rights. I am one of the prominent voices on the issue of security. When I was in the Senate, I moved the motion for the creation of State Police.

“We have realised that there are not enough boots on ground, that is why we feel that if there is State Police, every community like Kuriga will have people in the Police and they would be armed with AK-47 rifles. That is the only way we would be able to protect the lives and property of the citizens. The vigilantes are not as armed as the bandits, because they don’t have AK-47, that is why the bandits are constantly causing us destructions. They come in to humiliate, kill and abduct our citizens.

“Since I received the sad news of this incident, I have not had rest of mind because every child in Kaduna state is my child. So, I don’t want you people to be disturbed. Let us pray to God to help and on our part as a government, we will not rest until these children return home. We are going to select seven people from this community, who will be part of a committee, where we would be having discussions.”

The governor also promised to establish a Police Station and military camp in the community.