The gunmen who came on motorbikes, invaded the school's premises around 11 p.m. Friday night, kidnapping a yet to be confirmed number of students.
President Muhammadu Buhari has come under severe criticism on social media, particularly Twitter, over the kidnap of students at the Government Boys Science Secondary School in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the gunmen who came on motorbikes invaded the school's premises around 11 p.m. Friday night, shooting indiscriminately to scare residents. The operation led to the disappearance of many students, residents said.
Although the state police confirmed the incident, it did not disclose the number of students that were kidnapped.
Following the attack, the governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, on Saturday, ordered the closure of all boarding secondary schools in the state.
"The situation goes beyond one's thinking. It's a sad moment for Katsina, I am assuring parents of the missing students we will do anything humanly possible to rescue the children, it's our responsibility to protect lives and properties.
"As I am speaking to you now, the soldiers are in the bush engaging the militants in a fire fight, I plead with you to exercise patience, we will rescue the children and I also ordered for the closure of all schools to save the children," he said.
President Buhari also acknowledged the attack, saying security agencies were engaging the isnurgents in battles to ensure anyone kidnapped was freed.
The president also ordered an audit to determine the exact number of missing students.
The attack on the school and kidnap of the students is the latest such case in the country where insecurity is rife and killings and kidnappings common. Apart from the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east, bandits attack communities in the North-west and North-central states at will, killing and kidnapping residents. Kidnappings have also become commonplace in other parts of the country.
Nigerians, using the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys on Twitter, lamented the security situation, and criticised President Muhammadu Buhari's handling of it.
They also demanded the removal of the service chiefs,
Many Nigerian also called on the president, who is currently in Katsina, to show empathy by visiting the scene of the incident.
Below are some of the reactions of Nigerians on Twitter.
Kai @MBuhari you're still in Daura but you can't even go to Kankara to show your sympathy for the families of the victims. You're a failure, you're so heartless and wicked president. You already shows your level of inhumanity, and lack of sympathy. #BringBackOurBoys
- PRINCESS ZARAH👸 (@XahraBKumbo) December 13, 2020
Yes you can say it doesn't concern you but tomorrow it could be your brother abducted, From economy to transportation to security Buhari has failed us all! #BringBackOurBoys
- Uncle chu (@chubiei) December 13, 2020
Most of the abducted secondary school students are children of the poor and they're still with the armed bandits.#BringBackOurBoys
- Safiyanu 🔞 (@_Sufy2) December 13, 2020
If 20 peaceful #EndSARS protesters gather, the Buhari govt will declare a curfew; it's been 48 hours after 600 students were kidnapped by terrorists in Katsina, and there's no curfew or lockdown there yet. #BringBackOurBoys
- Somto Onuchukwu (@chosensomto) December 13, 2020
Why is @MBuhari and @HQNigerianArmy still caling diz guys Bandits instead of terrorist?. If IPOB witout ordinary knife can be proscribed a terrorist organization while the govt is flexing with kidnappers, murders and rapists. This is indeed an organized crime.. #BringBackOurBoys
- HUMANITY (@desybaba_) December 13, 2020
- Kunle (@Cute_smoulder) December 13, 2020
If we castigated Jonathan for Chibok girls, Armed men stormed a school in Kankara Katsina and went away with scores of students! We called Jonathan a failure why are we finding it hard to call Buhari a failure? #SecureNorth #BringBackOurBoys
- Taha (@TahaAdam_) December 12, 2020
Just recent 110 farmers were slaughtered and today 600 #KankaraStudents abducted all on your watch. @MBuhari if you can't stop these killings and kidnappings kindly #BuhariResign Or just just send an air strike and finish us (the north) once and for all.#BringBackOurBoys
- HD_Sani® (@Real___HD) December 12, 2020
- Collins O ✌️ (@OkoroCollins11) December 12, 2020
When Yusuf #Buhari was injured, General @MBuhari rushed to the hospital within minutes. Mr Buhari is in Katsina, yet he couldn't even go to GSSS Kankara, which is just miles from him. #BringBackOurBoys#BringBackOurBoys#BringBackOurBoys#BringBackOurBoys#BringBackOurBoys
- Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) December 12, 2020
Hundreds of students allegedly missing from a school in Katsina and all we get is an "Our prayers are with the families of the students" statement from General #Buhari?
- Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) December 12, 2020
Our #chibokgirls some are still in captivity
The 46 farmers that were slain in day
Now #KankaraStudent and you've not shewed any concern rather sent in prayers.
- Donald Ido 🇳🇬 (@chefdonaldido) December 12, 2020
- slimz (@Princeasabimbol) December 12, 2020
General #Buhari is right there in Katsina. Under his nose, bandits attacked a school. Hundreds of students are allegedly missing. All he does is issue a statement. He can't even visit the school for an on the spot assessment?#BringBackOurBoys#BringBackOurBoys#BringBackOurBoys
- Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) December 13, 2020
- Local Mαɳ🔥 (@Sir__MbO) December 12, 2020
To think the bandits kidnapped 600 students in a state where the president and his guards are currently at is disturbing, what is more disturbing is the students are still with the bandits after 24hrs. This govt has to change it's way of fighting insecurities.#BringBackOurBoys
- Al'ameen✨ (@Al_ameen_Yabo) December 13, 2020
- Anonymous707 (@Anonymouss_707) December 12, 2020
With stories like d killings all ova d country esp d northern part, 2calm d nerves of pple, wat u wld ave been seeing is dgovt bringing up stories as regards Diezani Alison-Madueke bt dose lies ave expired, Now it's sacking of pondei #Katsina #Bandits #BringBackOurBoys #EndSARS
- WHISPER (@kennyoamusan) December 12, 2020
- Kawu Garba (@KawuGarba) December 12, 2020
First he failed to respond to d call of senate..whixh shows our rule of law is in chambels..now under is watch
- Anyaka JP (@AnyakaDoc) December 13, 2020
Parents of the victims booing the Executive Governor of Katsina State during his visit to the school yesterday. The NPF personnel fired tear gas to ease the tension!#BringBackOurBoys #RescueKankaraBoys pic.twitter.com/6j6AN0HM7G
- BringBackOurBoys (@BringBacOurBoys) December 13, 2020
*These children can be introduce into child militias.
*These children can be turned into sex slaves.
*These children can be murdered heartlessly.
*No one can guarantee the safety of these poor kids.
But the presidency is still yet to take any serious action... #BringBackOurBoys
- M A X A 💫 (@maxajee) December 13, 2020