Niger govt receives 90 abducted school children, one dead

Niger Governor Abubakar Bello has received 90 abducted school children, two passers-by and lamented the loss of one of the pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiya school in Tegina town of Rafi LGA of the state.

The governor confirmed that he received them at the government house, Minna the state capital and reunited them with their families.

This came barely 24 hours after the governor had returned from a security tour to boost the morale of joint security operatives who have successfully flushed out bandits in the Ma’undu community that was deserted by the community members due to incessant banditry activities for about a year.

Gov Bello addressed the press in the presence of the refreshed and neatly clothed children and their joyful parents as well as other top government functionaries.

The governor disclosed that a total of 91children and two passers-by were kidnapped out of which 92 regained their freedom but unfortunately lost one of the children.

He particularly appreciated security operatives, his commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Rafi Local Government chairman and all those who contributed to the release of the abductees.

He expressed concern over the callous manner in which the bandits operate, adding that their activities were in no small measure discouraging parents from sending their children to school.

The governor, however, assured that criminals will be hunted down and be made to face the wrath of the law.

“This goes to show the sickness and madness in the heads of some people. Otherwise, I cannot explain or imagine why you should abduct an innocent 3-year-old child and keep him or her for over 80 days.

“This has affected the morale and confidence in people and has made even parents to think twice before they send their children to school.

“However, I can assure you that we will do whatever it takes to bring them to justice. We have put in place all necessary measures to hunt down and prosecute those involved in this heinous act.

He said the children have been medically examined and declared fit to join their families except for 4 of them who will require more medical attention.

The Islamic school pupils who were kidnapped on the 30th of May, 2021 were said to have arrived in Minna, the state capital late last night.

The children, looking feeble and malnourished, were taken directly to a government health care facility within Minna metropolis, where the medical teams were readily available for thorough and proper medical examinations for the children after they were fed.

The Head Teacher of the Islamic school Mallam Abubakar Garba Alhassan appreciated the role played by the state government, security personnel and others in securing the release of the state children.

Some of the obviously elated parents shed tears of joy appreciating God for the safe release of their children.

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