The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu’s administration will do everything possible to prevent a repeat of school abductions.
The minister stated this on Friday during a press briefing following the release of the Kankara Schoolboys.
Hundreds of students were last week abducted from a school in Kankara Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State.
They were released yesterday (Thursday) with the intervention of the state governor Aminu Masari and the military.
Mr Lai in a statement said, “Let me state here that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will do everything possible to prevent a recurrence of these school abductions.
“But we also make bold to say that we have moved with speed and determination each time we have faced the challenge of school abductions and the results attest to this”.
The minister also pledged to ensure that the Federal Government will not relent until the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and Dapchi schoolgirls are reunited with their families.
“Each time this has happened, we have always accepted responsibility, rather than being in denial.
“And that has made all the difference in whether or not the abducted school children have been recovered. We will not relent until all those who remain missing in Chibok and Dapchi and reunited with their families”, he added.
Read Full Statement Below
TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF
INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, IN ABUJA ON FRIDAY, 18
Gentlemen of the press, good afternoon, and thank you for honouring
our invitation despite the short notice.
2. As you are aware, 344 school boys who were kidnapped from their
school in Kankara in Katsina State last Friday have all been released
unharmed. They will undergo necessary medical tests before they are
released to their families.
3. The Federal Government is most grateful to our security and
intelligence agencies for this great feat. We also wish to thank the
governments of Katsina and Zamfara states, and indeed all Nigerians
and friends of Nigeria.
4. Let me be clear: What happened in Kankara – and in Chibok and
Dapchi before it – is totally unacceptable. Our children should not
have to go to school in trepidation. The Federal Government is doing
everything possible to secure all our schools, and indeed all
Nigerians. And we will not relent until all Nigerians can go to bed at
night with their two eyes closed.
5. The release of these school boys is a testament to the importance
that this Administration attaches to the security and safety of all
Nigerians. There is no government in the world that will not face the
challenges of security at one time or another. No government in the
world is immune to terrorist attacks. What stands any government out
is the way and manner it responds to such challenges.
6. For example, school shooting has been a recurring challenge in the
United States. Between 2010 and 2020, almost 200 school children were
killed and many more injured in various school shooting incidents.
Needless to say that the world’s most powerful country suffered a
tragic terrorist attack in September 2001 that claimed almost 3,000
lives. In France, between 2010 and 2020, 286 people were killed in
various terrorist incidents. And in New Zealand, in March 2019, 49 people were
killed in shootings at two mosques in ChristChurch, New Zealand. I
have given these instances to support
the fact that no nation, no matter how powerful, is immune to security
7. Back here in Nigeria, the abduction of the Kankara school boys
marked the second of its kind under this Administration, coming after
the unfortunate abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, in
February 2018. Just like the good news from Kankara, all but one of
the kidnapped school girls in Dapchi were rescued unharmed. And in
2014, 276 school girls were abducted by terrorists in Chibok, Borno
State, out of which 112 remain in captivity after this Administration
rescued over 100 of the school girls.
8. Let me state here that the Administration of President Muhammadu
Buhari will do everything possible to prevent a recurrence of these
school abductions. But we also make bold to say that we have moved
with speed and determination each time we have faced the challenge of
school abductions, and the results attest to this. Each time this has
happened, we have always accepted responsibility, rather than being in
denial. And that has made all the difference in whether or not the
abducted school children have been recovered. We will not relent until
all those who remain missing in Chibok and Dapchi and reunited with
9. Irrespective of the security challenges that we, as a nation, may
be facing at this time, they are not insurmountable. We can only
appeal to those who are quick to politicize the issue of security to
desist from such. The reactions in certain quarters to the Kankara
incident was shameful. Some Nigerians went as far as denigrating their
government and country in the most uncouth and irresponsible manner.
They simply threw decorum to the wind and allowed their emotions to
take a better part of them. When disasters and tragedies strike,
people come together. We hope the naysayers have learnt their lessons.
And we hope those who have started trading and politicking with the
hashtag ‘BringBackOurBoys’ can now go home, as our boys have been brought
back, even before their dubious campaign could take off.
10. We congratulate the parents and guardians of the 344 boys from
Kankara, who will soon reunite with their children and wards. We
congratulate the government and people of Katsina state, and indeed
all Nigerians. Once again, we thank all our committed and patriotic
security and intelligence agencies.
11. I thank you all for your kind attention. I will now take your questions