By Adejumo Enock
The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu had said the number of students in captivity were far fewer than the number staff members reported missing.
Shehu made this disclosure on Sunday to BBC.
Recall that gunmen invaded Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, and took away some students on Friday.
Breaking Times earlier reported that Governor Masari said over 300 students were still missing
Garba stated that the children believe that 10 of their schoolmates were taken by the bandits, but this still needed to be verified.
While on an interview with BBC,the SSA said there was a “massive deployment” of troops to rescue the abducted children.
“Military commanders on the ground have the coordinates of where they believe the bandits are, and whoever they are holding. They have surrounded all of that area”. He added.
According to Garba Shehu, President Buhari was being briefed hourly on efforts to rescue the children,
“The criminal elements, bandits, will be crushed. They will be eliminated”. He said.
Furthermore, the report also noted that school authorities were speaking to parents to establish how many students have returned home and how many others could still be scattered across a large area after fleeing the attack.
In similar vien, Governor Masari has said that about 333 students are still missing despites Shehu’s statement that the students believes only 10 of their classmates were missing.
Masari said the school has a total population of 839 students before the incident happened.
According to him, “Based on the available record we have, we are still searching for 333 students through either the forest or their parents to ascertain the actual number that has been kidnapped”.
He further said, “We are still counting because more are coming out from the forest and we are calling through the numbers those parents that have phone numbers to find out whether or not their children have gone back home”.
While speaking on the incident, Katsina State Police Spokesperson, Gambo Isah said, “The police, Nigerian army and Nigerian air force are working closely with the school authorities to ascertain the actual number of the missing and/or kidnapped students”.
He added that, “Search parties are working with a view to find or rescue the missing students.” Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, himself from Katsina and in the state on a private trip, released a statement condemning the attacks.
Isah said, “I strongly condemn the cowardly bandits’ attack on innocent children at the Science School”.
“Our prayers are with the families of the students, the school authorities and the injured”.
However, media reports stated that the Nigerian millitary had located the bandits’ and also they have ignited a millitary operation to rescue the abducted schoolboys.