NEWS News Update

We want our sons back, parents cry out

We want our sons back, parents cry out

By Augustine Okezie, Katsina

“I am begging the government to, in the name of God, help us bring back our child. He is the only one my wife and I have.”

That was the plea of Mohammed Usman, an anguished father of one of the 333 students abducted by bandits from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina at the weekend.

Our correspondent saw three other worried parents and guardians in the school packing the belongings of their children and wards.

They said they were devastated by the incident and have spent long nights waiting endlessly for their children and ards’ return.

Usman said: “Abdullabi is the only son my wife and I have. He is 14 years old in JSS 2 going JSS3. I am here now to pack all his things, including mattress, clothes and box.

“I am going with them. Please and please, tell the Governor (Aminu Masari) to help us because those bandits have put us in a critical situation.

“We want our children back. The Federal Government should do something quickly.’’

Another parent, Hajia Fatima Aminu, who lives in Zaria, Kaduna State told The Nation that her son and younger brother were among the victims.

With tear-filled eyes and muffled voice, she vowed to remain in Kankara till the children were released.

Amina, who did not give the names of her son and younger brother, said: “Not knowing whether the children are dead or alive is driving me crazy.

“All I want to know is to see those boys. I am tired. The trauma is unbearable. Imagine being in this school to pack the belongings of your children. Our governments in the state and at the federal level should act fast to rescue them.”

Amina Saminu lives in the Katsina city centre. She lamented that bandits who killed 14 persons a week ago in “our community,” struck again at the weekend, taking her son away with 332 of his schoolmates.

She said: “Imagine my pain. How can you explain that a child you sent to go and get an education to prepare him for the future is kidnapped from school by bandits? We were still trying to pull through after bandits killed 14 people in our community last Wednesday and then, this abduction.

“So those bandits are not strangers. They live behind our villages. Our governments should bring back children from them. That is not to much for them to do. ’

The school premises looked deserted and completely abandoned, with littered piece of a papers.. clothes and personal  belongings of fleeing students. The spur of the moment  definitely caused  serious pandamonium  and confusion. The school have been shut down since Sunday on the orders of the state government.

A school official only permitted me to take photographs of the entrance gates, but denied them access the hostels and other remote areas of the school

Security men and Police vehicles were parked some meters away from the entrance gate.

The whole town was gripped with fear and uncertainties inhabitants scarcely grant interviews for fear of informants and bandits.

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