Boko-Haram claims responsibility for abduction of Katsina school children

BOKO-HARAM has claimed responsibility for the abduction of more than 333 school children in Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina state on Friday.

Al Jazeera English had quoted AFP news agency saying that Abubakar Shekau, the factionalized leader of the militant sects claimed that his brothers were behind the kidnap in a short footage rendered in both Hausa and Arabic languages.

“I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” he said.

This is contrary to an earlier claim by the Katsina state government that the children were abducted by bandits, local armed groups terrorising the Northeast.

Aminu Masiri, Katsina state governor, told newsmen shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, yesterday, that the government is already in talks with the abductors to negotiate the release of the children.

He also noted that security agencies had located the position of the children.

One has escaped

The Nigeria defence headquarters has claimed that one of the kidnapped school children has escaped from the abductors.

John Enenche, the coordinator of defence media operations, said this during his appearance on Channels television’s politics today on Monday.

“Out of that 333, before I came into the studio, one escaped out of wherever they kept them,” he said.0

He also confirmed that three hundred and thirty-three students were still in the hands of the abductors.

“The principal reported that he had 839 in the boarding house; and as at the time they were abducted, shortly after that, some came back and it was about five hundred plus that did not return,” he noted, corroborating the figure earlier released by the Katsina State Government.

Enenche who said the kidnappers ferried the student away from the school via motorcycles, explained that security agencies are working to ensure the students are rescued alive.

A resident opinion

A resident of Kankara had told Channels TV on Monday that the incident was a reprisal attack to a vigilante group who had ruthlessly dealt with the armed group when they attacked a village around the local government the school children were abducted.

“There is something people are yet to know; before the recent abduction of Ƙankara Secondary School students, the bandits had on Wednesday attacked ‘Yar-Kuka village and killed 12 people and abducted an unspecified number of people in the village.

“On Thursday, a vigilante group mobilised and went after the bandits in their hideouts and engaged in burning down the Fulani houses, injuring and killing some of them,” the resident said.



    Global uproar

    The incident has continued to draw condemnation from several quarters with the UN calling for the unconditional release of the students.

    “The Secretary-General calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted children and for their safe return to their families. He reiterates that attacks on schools and other educational facilities constitute a grave violation of human rights. He urges the Nigerian authorities to bring those responsible for this act to justice,” the organisation said in a statement on Monday.

    In 2014, Boko-Haram was responsible for the kidnapping of about 276 girls in a government secondary in Chibok, Borno state. Although some of them have regained their freedom, the whereabouts of 113 of them are still unknown till date.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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