…Army Intensifies Search Efforts
Richard Ginika Izuora
The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, on Wednesday, December 16, stated the college students abducted by armed bandits in the state last week had been located in a forest in Zamfara.
Masari made this disclosure during a chat with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
He said the state government was informed by security agents on Wednesday that the students are in Zamfara.
Masari said: “They are in Zamfara forests, we have received the information.”
He also disclosed that the government was negotiating with the kidnappers to ensure the release of the abducted students.
“We are negotiating with those that have abducted the students and we want to ensure that we secure their release,” the governor added.
Armed bandits had on Friday abducted an unspecified number of students at the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
However, some of the students reportedly escaped from the bandits; while the rest were taken to an unknown destination by the criminals.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army Headquarters says the military and other security agencies are reviewing operations to ensure safe rescue of the children abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operation, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, stated this while giving update on the military operations across the country on Wednesday, December 16, in Abuja.
Enenche said that the Nigerian Army had taken all the necessary brief from the operating agencies; and the government of Katsina state on the condition of the abducted students.
He said that the major concern of the security agencies was to ensure the safety of the children; while carrying out its operation with a view to rescuing them.
On the negotiation with the abductors by the state government, Enenche said that the Nigerian Army had no business with negotiation, saying it was within the powers of the governor to negotiate.
He said that while the state government was playing its part; the security agencies were committed to safe rescue of the children.
Enenche said that some abductees were still with the bandits based on the information from the state government and the school authority.
“Nobody is dead, we have not received anything that anybody is dead from the information that we have; monitoring the situation and then the troops are on guard as it were.
“They have started patrolling the whole of that area; which I will not give you the specifics to ensure that they are intact and that we rescue them alive,” he said.