…344 Released, No Ransom Paid- Gov Masari Reveals
Over 300 students abducted by bandits at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara have regained freedom.
The boys were released on Thursday afternoon after spending six nights in captivity.
Confirming the development, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari he said vitually all the 344 students were released while no ransom was paid.
He said they will be handed over to their parents on Friday after medical examination.
Speaking on the ordeal, Masari said the government will increase private security we have employed to fight insurgency, just as he commended security agencies for a job well done.
Speaking to Al Jazeera earlier at the Government House, the governor said the state and the country have been on edge due to what he described as a sad development. He however promised that the country should expect something positive within the next 24 hours.
“I am sure that within the next 24 hours the boys will be back home. Yes, I’m sure of that. I have been in touch with them. Everything is on course, very soon they will be back, the governor said.
“The security agencies have done very well.
“l thank and appreciate the people of Katsina state especially the parents for their understanding, including the Nigerian press for their support and solidarity.
“Security is for all of us we are all in it together and we should fight the menace together,” the Governor said.
Speaking on the video that was released few hours ago by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, showing pictures of some of the boys, Masari said he was sure that Boko Haram was not directly involved in the abduction, saying however that there might have been a connection between the terror group and some bandits.
“Boko Haram was not directly involved in the abduction. It is doubtful if the group was directly involved. But there might be a connection with other groups”, the governor said.
Governor Masari also lamented that insecurity has adversely affected the way of life of the people and economy of the state. He said virtually all facets of life have been affected, while at the same time, appealing for patience and understanding from the people.
Recall that bandits attacked the all-boys school on Friday, December 11 and abducted the school children.
The bandits used the children as a human shield as they were forced marched through the night to Daji Yankuzo village in Zamfara state, making it difficult for security operatives to use lethal force to rescue the children.
However, the Nigeria military surrounded the perimeter of the location where the bandits camped the boys and maintained aerial surveillance even as negotiations and intelligence operations were ongoing.