The Muhammadu Buhari-led government has once again begged bandits and their sponsors to desist from kidnapping school pupils in the country, saying the trend was impairing the advancement of the education sector in the country.
One of Buhari’s ministers, Emeka Nwajiuba, who is the Minister of State for Education, made the appeal on Tuesday while reacting to reports that three more abducted students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary school in Kaduna State had been found.
The freed students were found by troops at the Kankumi forest general area in the Chikun Local Government Area where they were abandoned by their abductors.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television, Nwajiuba stated that the federal government was doing all it could to ensure that those in captivity were all rescued.
He said “I am elated. This is the kind of news I want to be hearing every day. They should please return our children to us. I am so happy for these parents. I was in Katsina to meet with these ex-servicemen who are flying that area. I also want to encourage our military. They are doing tremendous work in combing the areas and tackling these bandits.
“I am appealing to the bandits and whoever talks to them to leave our schools alone. We already have many issues from Kagara to Jingali to Jangebe and all the other places they have gone to just to disrupt schooling activities for our children.
“It is unprecedented and the atmosphere of insecurity that they cause parents is a big setback for us in the school agenda. From the days of Chibok, because all of these started from the Chibok era, once you have people who are outside government holding arms, they can do anything at any time.
“From there, they went to Buni-Yadi and from there, they are now parading all these places now. It has been seven, eight years now of constantly dealing with this matter. I think they are disrupting education, particularly in the North where we have huge challenges that are culturally and geo-spatially induced.
“So, I am really glad to have these three back and I think we should have all of them back. Please, any kind of help we can get. I appeal to parents to please bear with us.
“The federal government is doing as much as we can possibly do. I know it is disheartening how you feel and I am appealing as one of the ministers you have put in a government that we take responsibility and we are doing the most we can on this matter.”