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- Commends security agencies, Katsina governor and intelligence gatherers for their roles.
- Assured his administration will free other hostages held by terrorists.
- Pleads with Nigerians to be patient with his administration
The 335 students of Government Science Secondary School abducted in Kankara, Katsina State have been released, the Nigeria government said in a statement on Thursday evening.
Katsina is the home town of the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari and is located in the Northern part of the country.
Mr Buhari arrived Daura on his presidential fleet on Friday at 16:45hrs, his Special Special adviser, Femi Adesina disclosed in a statement.
Standard Gazette reported that armed bandits invaded the government school 22:45hrs, 5 hours after the President landed.
On Monday, the Nigeria government through the Minister of Defence said that security agencies located the whereabouts of the abducted students.
Governor Bello Masari of Katsina State also told President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday that the kidnappers have established contact with the government.
“The Governor, who was accompanied by the Deputy Governor of the state, Manir Yakubu, said the kidnappers had made contact and discussions were already pertaining to safety and return to their homes, the President adviser Garba Shehu said in a statement that the governor disclosed this information when he visited Mr President in Daura.
On Thursday, the Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad confirmed the release via his Twitter handle on Thursday evening.
He tweets, “The abducted students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara has been rescued, the Katsina State Government has confirmed the news. Alhamdulillah!”
Mr Buhari in a statement on Thursday described the students return as “a big relief to their families, the entire country and international community.”
Mr Buhari also expressed appreciation to everyone involved in taken the steps to make their release possible.
The President said the “spirit of partnership and the collaborative efforts of the government of Katsina, Zamfara and military leading to the release.’’
Buhari also commended the National Intelligence agencies, the military and police for providing the environment for the safe release of the hostages.
“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,” Buhari said.
The President also admitted that his administration is aware of other hostages held by terrorists or bandits, assuring he is aware of his responsibility to protect the life and property of all Nigerians.
The government enjoined the citizens to be patient and fair to the administration as it deals with the problem of security, economy and corruption.
He noted that the administration was fully aware that it was elected to resolve challenges.
He said, “When we came, we made efforts that yielded the return of the Chibok Girls. When a similar incident of school abduction happened at Dapchi, we successfully returned all but one of the more than one hundred abductees. When this latest incident happened, we put in our efforts and today we have this result to show.”
The President pointed to the successes of the administration in dealing with security in the South-South and North East.
He said the North West now presents a challenge which his administration is determined to deal with.
“We have a lot of work to do, especially now that we have re-opened the borders. It is unfortunate that the bandits and terrorists continue to get weapons even under the circumstances of the border closure. We are going to dare them. We will deal with all that,” the President further assured.
He prayed for the full recovery of the students, whom he said had endured significant hardships in the course of their six-day ordeal.