Katsina Abduction: Bring Back Our Boys Now, Okonjo-Iweala Tells FG


Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian Finance Minister and leading candidate for the director-general of the World Trade Organisation job, has urged the Federal Government to do everything possible to bring back the over 300 schoolboys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.

Okonjo-Iweala, who described the unfortunate incident as a recurring nightmare, said those using children as pawns must be held accountable.

She wrote on twitter last night, “The abduction of more than 300 schoolboys in Katsina is heartbreaking. What a recurring nightmare. My heart goes out to the families of the missing boys. The authorities must do all possible to #BringBackOurBoys! Those using our children as pawns must be held accountable!”

It will be recalled that some hours after President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in his hometown Daura, Katsina State on Friday for a weeklong private visit; bandits stormed the school at night and abducted the students after a gun duel with the police.

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Contrary to Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina claim of already discussing and negotiating with the kidnappers, Boko Haram terrorist group, who on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the abduction, said it had not entered into negotiations with the government.

The terror group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a recording, said the dastardly act was done in order to discourage people from obtaining western education.

Like the former finance minister noted in her tweet of a recurring nightmare, this is not the first time over 300 students are being kidnapped in school.

Boko Haram had in the past abducted similar numbers of secondary school girls from Chibok, in Borno State, though some eventually regained freedom while a number of them were detained by their abductors.

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Following the resurgence of abduction of school students, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III led Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure adequate punishment is melted out to security agencies for their slackness.

The apex Islamic body in a statement on Monday through its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, JNI said there are lapses in Nigeria’s security architecture that need to be urgently and seriously addressed.

JNI stated that, the boldness of the bandits to carry out the abduction on the day the president arrive Katsina State on a private visit and bring it up to his door step in his presence, is to further test the resolve of his government.

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It added that, “there are insinuations that for pecuniary benefits, some top echelon among the security operatives don’t want the insecurity to end.”

“If not, how can one explain the movement of the bandits in their hundreds on motor cycles without being detected? What happens to intelligence gathering that this heinous plan was not uncovered before it was hatched? How comes the bandits took their time, gather the school boys, heaped them on bikes and whisked them away without being rounded up by the security agencies? Mr. President needs to hearken to the call of Nigerians.”

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