Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari has received the just released three hundred and forty Schoolboys kidnapped from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara.
The boys were released on Thursday through a private intermediary after days of negotiations between the parties.
They arrived after hours of midnight journey from the location they were held for days.
President Buhari reacts
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari described their safe return as a big relief to their families, the entire country and international community.
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In a short remark shortly after their release was announced, President Buhari expressed the nation’s appreciation for the steps taken by all involved to make their release possible.
President Buhari specifically cited what he called the “spirit of partnership and the collaborative efforts of the government of Katsina, Zamfara and military leading to the release.’’
He commended the nation’s intelligence agencies, the military and police force for providing the environment for safe release of the hostages.
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“The Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, and the army worked extremely hard. As soon as I got the information I congratulated them. The Armed Forces know their job. They have been well trained and properly motivated.”
PDP Leaders protest
Earlier on Thursday, leaders of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, staged a peaceful protest at the headquarters of the party in Abuja, demanding the unconditional release of the abducted Schoolboys.
While addressing journalists, Chairman of the party, who also led the protest, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies to ensure all the schoolboys and others still in captivity, are released unconditionally.
The Kankara Abduction
More than three schoolboys at the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, were on Friday night abducted by those suspected to be armed bandits operating between Zamfara and Katsina states.
According to accounts, the bandits stormed the school premises shooting sporadically into the air and ordered the schoolboys who are in the boarding facilities.
Eyewitnesses say the abductors initially moved the abducted boys to a neighbouring village before transporting them to Zamfara state.
The Nigerian Army in its reaction said it responded swiftly to the distress call but could only shoot into the air because the schoolboys were used as human shields by their abductors.
While the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, the military denied this, saying the attack was carried out by bandits.
Also, while the state governor, Aminu Bello Masari announced that the abductors had contacted government for negotiation, the military denied its involvement, saying it will never negotiate the release of the schoolboys with their abductors.
Video Of the Schoolboys
Meanwhile, hours before the release of the schoolboys, a video purported to have emerged from the Boko Haram sect was released.
In the video, one of the boys who spoke both in Hausa and English languages pleaded with the government to eschew the use of military and other means of force in securing their release.
He urged the state and federal governments to negotiate with their abductors in order to ensure their safe return.
What is Next?
Now that the schoolboys are back safely, there are some certain questions begging for answers.
First, the actual number of the schoolboys is yet to be ascertained. This is because while the state governor gave the number of the abducted schoolboys as three hundred and thirty-three, three hundred and forty were said to have been released, thereby raising question about the actual number of the abducted schoolboys.
Also, how much was paid to secure the release of the schoolboys and why is it difficult to secure the release of the remaining Chibok Schoolgirls and Leah Sharibu.
These are some of the questions needed to be answered by the authorities in order to gain the trust of the public.