Nigeria: Niger Govt Forms Special Squad to Rescue Kidnapped Islamiya School Children

Freed Nigerian schoolboys (file photo).

Governor Sani Bello says bandits are trying to force people of Niger to change their normal lives

The Niger State Government has formed a special security squad to ensure the safe return of the abducted Tegina Islamiyyah School children.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Barje, on Monday in Minna.

The statement said Governor Abubakar Bello disclosed this while addressing the special squad of combined security personnel deployed to Rafi Local Government Area, on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police had on May 30 confirmed the abduction of the school children and some residents of Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

Mr Bello said the time had come for the state government to take decisive action once and for all, to end banditry in the state .

"We will give you all the necessary support to enable you to implement all your security strategies to ensure safe return of our abducted children and others, if any.

"We have tried our possible best not to make them succeed in forcing us to change our normal lives;they started by displacing farmers from their farmlands, next they moved to burning farms.

"Then, they moved to kidnapping and forcing us to close our schools, now they have started attacking Islamic schools, only God knows what is next," he said.

The governor told the special squad that logistics had been provided for them, and also promised that their allowances and other financial benefits would always be provided as and when due.

He commended the security personnel for their efforts in the ongoing fight against banditry and other criminal elements in the state.

"I mourn the killing of 20 Vigilante Corps Members by the bandits in Magama Local Government Area," he said.

Mr Bello had earlier met with parents of the abducted school children at the palace of the Emir of Kagara, Ahmed Gunna, where he urged them to exercise patience as the government was exploring all avenues to ensure the safe rescue of the abductees.

The emir thanked the governor for all his support to his domain, especially in the area of security, and the support given to the family of the kidnapped school children.

On his own part, the headmaster of Salihu Tanko Islamiyyah School, Tegina, Abubakar Alhassan, disclosed that 15 of the teachers abducted from the school had escaped from the hands of their captors in Zamfara.

Mr Alhassan said the teachers are now in a military facility in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, where they would be handed over to the Niger Government soon.

( NAN)

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