President Muhammadu Buhari has directed armed forces and police to ensure the safe return of students and officials abducted by gunmen who attacked Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State on Wednesday.
The President has also dispatched a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has received reports of the brazen attack on Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, following which a yet to be ascertained number of staff and students have been abducted by gunmen.
“Following these reports, the President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure the immediate and safe return of all the captives. The President has also dispatched to Minna, Niger State a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the College,” the statement read in part.
The statement added that President Buhari has assured of the support of his administration to the Armed Forces in their brave struggle against terrorism and banditry and urged them to do all that can be done to bring an end to the attacks on schools.
“Our prayers are with families of the victims of this attack,” said the President as he condemned as cowardly the attack on innocent school children.
Schools have been the target of attacks in recent times in Nigeria.
Gunmen earlier Wednesday morning stormed Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State dressed in military uniform, shooting sporadically into the air.
The school principal who escaped from the attack confirmed to Channels Television that the operation started from the staff quarters where they abducted members of staff including a couple before they gained access to the students’ hostels.
Other sources say some students escaped after the raid while a headcount is being conducted at the school to ascertain the actual number of missing students.
This attack comes less than three months after scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after some days.
Niger State has in the past days seen a spike in kidnapping by gunmen. A few days back, armed men attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.
The state governor, Abubakar Bello had condemned the abduction, promising to secure the release of the passengers.