The recently released abducted students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara in Katsina State have been reunited with their families.
Some of the residents of Kankara Town and some parents of the rescued students who were freed on Thursday are ecstatic about their return.
Alhaji Isah Kankara whose son is among the students said, “We are very much relieved now. Our children are back home hale and hearty and we remain grateful to Allah for saving them and to all those who contributed in their rescue.”
On whether he will allow his son to go back to the school when it reopened for academic activities, Isah said, “What happened to the students was a destiny that could happen to them anywhere, so it is not a matter of school or other places. All we need is fervent prayers for God to bring an end to this problem of insecurity.”
Another parent whose two children were abducted, Abubakar Zaria, said his children were safely back home as he went personally to pick them from Katsina.
Zaria said, “We reside in Zaria but from the Saturday that followed the night of the incident I relocated to Kankara and I was there throughout that period up to the time we were invited to Katsina to receive our children.
“As I speak with you now, I am at home together with the children and they are in good condition of health.”
On their return to school, he said education was paramount and that he would not hesitate to return them back to school “if adequate security measures are taken to safeguard them.”
One of the teachers of the school told our reporter that there was already a photo album of all the missing students and that when they were released their census was taken and they were all found present.
The teacher said, “Parents were then asked to go to Katsina to identify and receive their children. So if you identify a student and he confirms that you are his parent or guardian we will let you go with them, and as of now, all of them are reunited with their families.”
How we rescued them – Military
Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has made some disclosures on how it carried out the rescue operation of the 344 boys.
It disclosed that while kinetic and non-kinetic approaches were used to ensure all the boys were rescued unhurt, there was resistance from the abductors who laid ambush against the troops.
Maj. Gen. John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, and retired Maj. Gen. Ahmed Jibrin, a former Director of Military Intelligence, gave the accounts when they featured on a special edition of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme: “Good Morning Nigeria.”
Gen. Jibrin said following the abduction of the boys the minister gave the rules of engagement directing the troops to ensure the abducted boys were rescued without casualties and within the shortest time possible.
He said, “Following the directive, the troops closed in on the abductors from four fronts, including the reinforcement that was made from other divisions to ensure that the entire location was sealed off.
“The bandits were all under siege and they were fully aware of that, feeling the impact of the presence of the troops both from the air and on the ground.
“When they approached the location where the boys were held, the troops encountered some pockets of opposition which they cleared and moved deeper into the forest.
“Although there was no casualty on the part of the boys, a lot of the bandits were neutralised because in the attempt by the military to move forward, they laid ambush in two places.”
On the claim by Boko Haram that they were responsible for the abduction, Jibrin said the group was only seeking cheap relevance.
Abduction not staged
The Federal Government has described as senseless the claim in certain quarters that the abduction was stage-managed.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, dismissed the claim on Saturday when he featured on a special edition of NTA’s “Good Morning Nigeria.”
The minister said it did not make sense for any administration to stage-manage abduction of students or any of its citizens.
He queried that, “What precisely does government want to achieve? Is it to prove the deficiency of the military or what? In the case of Dapchi, we had all kinds of bizarre theories.
“You have to be in government to know how many sleepless nights the president, ministers and heads of security outfits spent until the matter was resolved.’’