President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that the abduction of 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State, was targeted at embarrassing his administration.
Buhari made the statement when he met with the rescued Kankara students and representatives of their parents at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Katsina.
The president, who spoke in Hausa, said it was not a coincidence that the bandits struck on the very day he visited his home town, Daura after about 18 months.
He explained that his trip to Daura had become necessary in view of the fact he last visited home 18 months ago, disclosing that he planned to retire to the town after completing his second term in May, 2023.
“I normally visit my home town because I swore by the holy Quran that I will safeguard the nation’s constitution, hence I must hand over power on May 29, 2023 to the next government.
“So, if God spares my life, I’ll definitely come home. This informed my visits home.’’
Buhari vowed to leave behind a stable and prosperous nation by the end of his administration.
The president thanked God for sparing the lives of all the 344 rescued students, urging them to put behind them their ordeals in the hands of the bandits.
He called on the students to take their studies seriously to enable them accomplish their missions in life.
Buhari said that he was at the Katsina Government House to rejoice with the students on their release from captivity, saying that government would do all it could to prevent future occurrence of the incident.
The president lauded Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State for his untiring efforts in ensuring the release of the abducted students.
He also commended security officials involved in the rescue operation.
The president reminded those saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of citizens to bear in mind that they would also be judged by God after their earthly sojourn.
Buhari, however, said the military and other security agencies still had a lot to do to secure the country and its citizens.
“This is their job. They signed for it. Whether they like it or not, they will have to provide security for the country,’’ the president stated.
In his remarks, Masari suggested that the security architecture in the country should be upgraded to ensure safety of citizens, assuring that the “kidnap of school children will never happen again’’.
The governor said the release of the children was through collaborations, negotiations and discussions, thanking the president for consistently supporting the process, creating time for regular updates and taking actions when needed.
Buhari had since departed Katsina State after his week-long visit to Daura, his country home.
Masari and the Deputy Governor of Katsina, Mr Mannir Yakubu, were among dignitaries, who bid the president farewell at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Airport, Katsina.