Some parents of the students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, abducted by gunmen on Friday night are worried and confused over the situation.
They called on the government to do everything possible to secure the release of their children and wards.
Some of them spoke to DailyTrust on Saturday. A mother, Iklima Idris Bakori, said, “My son was taken away…Is it because we are poor that this is happening to us. If not, why is this happening?”
Another parent, Mustapha Barde, whose son, Abbas Mustapha, 14, was abducted, called on the government to do everything possible to secure the release of their children from the bandits.
“They should please be careful so that during a confrontation with the bandits, our children are not killed. My son just finished his exams and will be going to JSS 3,” he said.
Usman Galima, whose son Usman was also kidnapped, stressed the need for parents whose children were abducted to intensify prayers for their safe return and for God to keep them safe wherever they are.
Umma Haruna Bakori, whose son Mujtafa Usman was among students taken away, said, “I pray to God and call on others to help us pray as well so that they are returned to us peacefully and in good shape,”
Alhaji Muntari, whose two children Abdullahi and Muhammad, were among those missing students said one has returned.
“I have seen Abdullahi, he has returned but Muhammad, who is in JSS 2, has yet to return,” he said.
Explaining how he heard of what happened in the school, he said, “I got wind of the abduction on Friday night but couldn’t go to the school vicinity because of the sporadic gunshots across the town.
“I couldn’t sleep from 10 pm. After the morning prayers at about 5.30 am, we began to troop to the school along with others.
“I am still disturbed about the whereabouts of our children though some of them have started coming back.
“I am hoping to see my second soon back with us,” he said.
Sources told DailyTrust the attackers reportedly shot one of the security guards at the school gate while the other was nowhere to be found. The guard, who was shot, was taken to Kankara General Hospital, where he is responding to treatment.
A resident of Kankara, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Daily Trust on Sunday that there were reports that the attackers were sighted on their bikes late Friday evening which had put the people of the area on alert.
“They arrived Kankara some minutes after 10 pm in about 150 motorcycles and some of them went straight to the school while others blocked the road leading to the school from Kankara town, apparently to prevent anyone from going there to render help.
“Members of a vigilante group earlier engaged those who blocked the road and within a short time, the police arrived with reinforcement,” he said.
People in Kankara town told our correspondent that the bandits had made an earlier attempt to attack parts of the town but were repelled by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity stationed in the town.
The police spokesman in Katsina, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident, saying when the school was attacked, two policemen engaged the gunmen at the gate in a gun duel which gave the students the signal to run for safety.
“One of our men was shot but he is responding to treatment. The DPO in Kankara, together with reinforcement from other divisions, are working to search for other students who are yet to return.
“As of now, we cannot ascertain whether some of the students were kidnapped or not, but as I said, our men are on top of the situation,” he said.
Isah explained that police officers in search and rescue operation have found about two hundred students in the forest and returned them to safety, adding that the rescue team was still searching the forest in the hope of finding more students who had escaped the bandits’ attack.