From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
A wave of protests has continued to rock Kankara town, from where suspected bandits abducted an unspecified number of students at the Government Science Secondary School on Friday night.
A cross section of women and youth from Kankara took to the streets on Sunday morning demanding immediate release of their children even as the Coalition of Northern Groups has threatened to mobilise Katsina residents on continuous street protest if government fails to secure the release of students of the students in due course.
“Failure of the government to rescue the missing students within the shortest period of time, the Coalition of Northern Groups will not hesitate to mobilise hundreds of thousands on the streets of Katsina State for a continuous protest, until the students are fully rescued, even if it’s going to cost our lives,”the group said on Sunday at a press conference in Katsina.
The group’s North-West Coordinator, Jamilu Charanchi, said some 400 of the students were feared missing after the bandits’ attacks, a development he described as the highpoint of the inability of the state government to handle the, “disabling challenges that include dwindling economy, rising poverty and more worrying, a crippling security situation that has taken a huge toll on lives and property.
“The culmination of these security challenges has for the past few years turned the entire state into a house of horror with violent killings reported on daily basis, communities displaced with formal and informal IDP camps spreading all over the state.
“The deafening silence in the state to our people’s suffering is not only morally wrong but it nourishes, validates and perpetuates the failings of our political leaders.
“We owe it to our future generations to continue to act within the ambit of law in the hope that things will change for better.”
The group equally accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of failure in discharging it’s
primary responsibility of protecting lives and property of the people.
Bandits reportedly attacked the school at about 10.30 pm on Friday, hours after Buhari arrived his home state on a private visit.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari who visited the school and received a briefing from the principal on Saturday morning said he could not ascertain the exact number of students abducted.
Kankara is among the eight of the 34 local government areas in the state reported to be under the control of bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers.
As part of measures to check the menace of attacks by the hoodlums, the Nigerian Army in June 2020, raised a special squad, Operation Sahel Sanity, with headquarters at Faskari, a border community between Katsina and the equally troubled state of Zamfara.
A recent report by Network for Justice indicates that bandits killed a total of about 500 people with about 200 others kidnapped and about 40,000 cattle stolen in Kankara Local Government Area alone.