The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, has vowed to lead a search and rescue mission into the forest where over 100 students kidnapped on Thursday from Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, are believed to be held by their kidnappers.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that bandits abducted a large number of students and teachers at the federal secondary school in the state. A police officer was killed during the attack.
Meanwhile, addressing a crowd of sympathisers who visited him on Saturday at the Government House in Kebbi, Mr Bagudu said he was ready to lead hunters and vigilantes to face the bandits.
Flanked by state governors who were in the state on a solidarity visit, led by the chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Mr Bagudu told a crowd including hundreds of local hunters to get ready for the mission.
A video seen by PREMIUM TIMES and a statement from his Special Adviser on Media, Yahaya Sarki, captured the governor speaking at the event.
“We will go out there and like I promised, the day we will move out, I will not be in the office because I will lead the movement and this will be done to rescue the abductees.”
Mr Bagudu said it is not weapons that win war, “it is the will that bad people cannot triumph and we will show that we have enough willpower.
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies have been doing the best they can with limited resources. But, we also need to mobilise, kit ourselves and take on these bandits. Our various scriptures as Muslims and Christians allow us to put our lives at risk in defence of our honour, property and our faiths.
“In what the bandits are doing, they have challenged all these , so we can’t let them.”
Mr Bagudu asked the hunters to go back and mobilise, pending when he would get the necessary clearance from the security agencies, adding, “and we will meet in the field.”
Mr Fayemi said he was in the state as a representative of Nigerian governors to commiserate with the government and people of Kebbi over the unfortunate incident.
“We are here in solidarity with our brother, the governor of Kebbi State and all the good people of Kebbi State on the unfortunate incident at FGC Birnin Yauri.
“Whatever you can do to make it the last one in Kebbi, please put up the effort,” he charged the hunters.
The NGF Chairman also conveyed the message of President Buhari to the people, expressing how deeply concerned he is over the Birnin Yauri incident.
He prayed it will be the first and last incident of school attack in Kebbi State.
The leader of the hunters in Gwandu emirate, Hassan Muhammad, who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Dajin Sarkin Gwandu, told the governor and his entourage that the hunters have no fear in facing the bandits to save the school children but they need the support of the government.
“Our local hunters will join the operation as they are also ready to sacrifice their lives for the success of the mission,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, the Nigerian military said operatives had rescued two of the kidnapped teachers and five of the students. The military also said it rescued 800 rustled cows from the bandits.
“Nigerian Army troops operating under the auspices of Operation Hadarin Daji who have been on a hot pursuit of kidnappers and bandits following an unfortunate abduction incident in Federal Government College, Birnin Yawuri yesterday 17 June 2021 have so far, rescued two teachers and five students after a fierce exchange of fire with the criminals,” Onyema Nwachukwu, the army spokesperson, said on Friday.
However, Mr Nwachukwu said the operatives also found the body of a female student who was believed to have died from exhaustion while the kidnappers were taking them away on foot.
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