Sunday, 13 December 2020

Airforce, Army Comb Katsina Forest For Abducted School Children

Hundreds of security personnel from the army, the air force, and local vigilante groups are currently combing forests around Kankara town in Katsina State on rescue search for school pupils abducted by gunmen believed to be bandits, in the wake of President Muhammadu Buhari's visit to Daura, his hometown. 

It was learnt that the Nigerian Air Force's helicopter gunships are also providing cover for the ground troops. 

On Friday, a yet-to-be-ascertained number of Government Science Secondary School students in the Kankara Local Government Area of the state were abducted by gunmen who also killed a security guard.

It was gathered that there had been heavy deployment of security personnel in and around Buhari's residence on Mai'adua road in Daura town.

A military update reads, "Hundreds of security forces including the army, the air force, and local vigilante groups are currently cordoning in forests around Kankara town, Katsina State on rescue search of GSS students kidnapped by bandits. 

"The NAF also provided helicopter gunships for ground troops air support." 

"Buhari is currently in his home state, Katsina. So, the bandits decided that it's a perfect time to raid a school and kidnap scores of boys. The President always has a routine of the Department of State Services, National Intelligence Agency, Defence Intelligence Agency, police, air force, Guards Brigade and army Special Forces operatives with him at all times," a public commentator noted. 

Armoured Personnel Carriers were also stationed at different junctions linking to the residence of the President.

In 2018, a former Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 5 in Benin, Rasheed Akintunde claimed only 20 per cent of police officers are engaged in core police duties of protecting lives and ensuring peace in the country.

"The remaining 80 per cent are just busy providing personal security to some prominent people' on guard duties," he said.

Akintunde decried the situation where some prominent people in the society seek more than 30 police officers to protect them, while the bulk of work for the members of the force rests on protecting the masses.

"Every big man wants personal security; they want several policemen to come and secure them and their family members, instead of supporting the police to work and ensure a safer environment.

"Honorable members want police security, even reverend fathers, bishops now want police security, so the remaining 20 per cent police the whole country.

"If we can redistribute policemen from some government formations and deploy them to work on their core duty, it will yield a positive result," the former police boss had said while addressing officers and men of the Police headquarters in Bayelsa State.

Katsina is one of the states in the North-West that has witnessed repeated attacks by armed bandits on communities.

The gunmen have reportedly killed no fewer than 1500 people in Kankara, Dutsinma, Musawa, Danmusa and Safana local government areas of the state in 2020.

The state government-led by Aminu Masari had earlier entered a peace agreement with the bandits. But despite the accord, communities in Katsina are still being attacked and residents killed.

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