ARMED bandits have stormed Government Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State and abducted several students despite the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is currently visiting.
President Buhari is a native of Katsina State and is currently spending the weekend at his private home in Daura. Despite the president arriving with a full security retinue, the armed hoodlums attacked the school in nearby Kankara, killing a security guard and kidnapping some students.
Kankara is about 150km from the state capital, Katsina and one local resident said the bandits stormed the school at 10.45pm yesterday, shooting sporadically for over an hour. At the moment, a headcount is ongoing at the school to ascertain the exact number of the missing students.
Mallam Umaru Kabiru, a resident of the area who also went to the school to search for his two brothers, said those missing could be more than 100. One other local resident said that the gunmen reportedly abducted over 200 students.
He added: “They killed a policeman and they killed a security guard and two students. About 200 students were also taken away.”
Another resident added: “We saw a military helicopter hovering over the area and parents have besieged the school with many of the students are missing. We can’t say for sure how many were kidnapped as some of the students might have run into the bush.”
Kankara is among the eighth frontline local governments that are most affected by insecurity in Katsina State despite the heavy security checkpoints stationed in the area. In a swift response, Governor Aminu Masari has ordered the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools across Katsina State.
Earlier today, Governor Masari visited the school where he pleaded with the people to be patient and show restraint and understanding, assuring them that government would do every necessary thing to ensure the release of any abducted students. He said, the military, the police and the Department of State Security had swung into action and were on the trail of the suspected bandits.
Governor Masari assured parents of the missing students that both the federal and state governments were doing their best to bring an end to banditry and other debilitating criminal activities in the state. He added: “The government is very firm in its resolve to be ruthless in any engagement with the bandits.”
Isah Gambo, a spokesman for the Katsina State Police Command, said some students escaped through the school fence, while policemen exchanged fire with the suspected bandits. He added that 200 students had been found as of this morning, while a further search was on to locate others.