PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that the recent abduction of 344 pupils from Government Science Secondary School in Karanka in Katsina State was designed to embarrass him and his administration.
Last weekend, the boys were abducted from their school in Katsina State by armed bandits hired by terrorist sect Boko Haram. On Thursday, however, they were freed following negotiations between their abductors and the Katsina and Zamfara state governments conducted through Fulani herdsmen body Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban).
Yesterday, President Buhari met with the pupils in Katsina at the banquet hall of Government House in the state capital. Addressing the pupils in Hausa, President Buhari said it was not a coincidence that the bandits struck on the very day he visited his home town, Daura after about 18 months.
He explained that his trip to Daura had become necessary in view of the fact he last visited home 18 months ago, disclosing that he planned to retire to the town after completing his second term in May, 2023. In addition, the president vowed to leave behind a stable and prosperous nation by the end of his administration.
President Buhari said: “I normally visit my home town because I swore by the Holy Quran that I will safeguard the nation’s constitution, hence I must hand over power on May 29, 2023 to the next government. So, if God spares my life, I’ll definitely come home, which informed my visits home.’’
He thanked God for sparing the lives of all the 344 rescued students, urging them to put behind them their ordeals in the hands of the bandits. He then called on the students to take their studies seriously to enable them accomplish their missions in life, saying the government would do all it could to prevent future occurrence of the incident.
In addition, the president lauded Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State for his untiring efforts in ensuring the release of the abducted students. He also commended security officials involved in the rescue operation.
President Buhari reminded those saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of citizens to bear in mind that they would also be judged by God after their earthly sojourn. He, however, said the military and other security agencies still had a lot to do to secure the country and its citizens.
Governor Masari suggested that the security architecture in the country should be upgraded to ensure the safety of citizens. He said the release of the children was through collaboration, negotiations and discussions and thanked the president for consistently supporting the process, creating time for regular updates and taking actions when needed.