The Defence Headquarters, on Wednesday, says the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is safe in Daura, Katsina State.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, who stated this today, noted that the security of the President is not threatened by the activities of bandits in his home state.
Bandits had stormed the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, on Friday night and abducted over 300 schoolboys after a gun duel with the police. Buhari had arrived in the state the same day for a week-long private visit –hours before the abduction took place.
Speaking Wednesday while featuring on Arise TV’s The Morning Show, Enenche said the President’s safety is guaranteed in his home town.
He said, “One of the major tasks of the Armed Force of Nigeria is to ensure the protection of government and state actors and in that regard, the Commander-In-Chief is very safe in Katsina and anywhere that he is or will be at all times.”
Enenche, while dismissing reports that terrorist group, Boko Haram, was responsible for the Kankara abduction, said military operations are ongoing to secure the release of the abducted schoolboys.
Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a recording on Tuesday, had said the abduction of the schoolboys was done in order to discourage people from obtaining western education.
But reacting to the claim by the terror group, Enenche said, “On the basis of the characteristics of terrorists all over the world from the time of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Al-Shabaab, all of them, wherever they will boost their ego or show relevance, that is what they will do.
“What did they even do? Somebody spoke on audio and said, ‘I am Shekau.’ Shekau on a secondary note is a brand. All that needs to be done is somebody using his voice. The total aim of terrorists is to instill fear into people even beyond their scope of influence.
“So, it is easy for the layman to agree that it is them (Boko Haram) because even if it is kidnappers or armed robbers, their aim is to instill fear and kill.”
Enenche, however, appealed to the parents of the abducted students to “have short patience” with the military forces. “With what the military is doing, by the grace of Almighty God, very soon, the children will be back,” he said.
He also called for more cooperation by all stakeholders and the people of Katsina State to ensure the schoolboys are rescued without any record of casualty.
The Kankara students’ abduction is not the first in the history of the nation. Non-state actors had in the past abducted hundreds of secondary school girls from Chibok, in Borno State; and Dapchi in Yobe State. Some of them eventually regained freedom while a number of them were detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.