A fact-check by the international news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP) has revealed that a purported commendation to the government of Nigeria on the release of the Kankara schoolboys did not come from the European Union but from a self-styled organization known as European Union Human Rights Forum (EUHRF) which has no relationship with the global body.
The European Union says the EUHRF is a ‘discredited’ NGO that does not exist in the EU family.
Meanwhile, the only known acknowledgment of the release of the boys to have come from a multinational global organization was from His Excellency Mr. Edward Kallon the UN Chief Representative in Nigeria on December 18, 2020, where he tweeted:
‘So delighted to receive the news of the return of the abducted Kankara schoolboys. Congratulations to the Gov’t of Nigeria for securing their release. I rejoice with the community and concerned families& call on the authorities to make schools safe for teaching and learning.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the rescued students of Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, to return to school.
He urged them to remain focused on pursuing their interest in acquiring a good education, despite the misfortune of kidnapping, noting that the reward of knowledge was not negotiable.
The President gave the words of encouragement on Friday when he met with the 344 students at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Katsina State.
“If I wasn’t educated, I will not be standing here today in front of you. I schooled in Katsina for nine years. I moved on to join the army, served as a governor, Head of State, went to prison, came out, and later joined politics.
“I contested presidential elections three times, and finally I was declared a winner in 2015,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu.
President Buhari explained that the unfortunate incident was a test of character and determination to succeed in life.
He assured the students that the Federal Government would upgrade the security structure in the country to ensure more safety of the people.
‘They Signed For It’
“My dear children, don’t be discouraged with what has happened; give your attention to acquiring knowledge and developing good character, and you will be distinguished in life. I know that you have been through a lot.
“The suffering you went through, please put it aside and try to forget the painful experience. There is no substitute for a good education, so you must return to school and continue,” he added.
The President commended the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, for working tirelessly to ensure that the kidnapped children were returned unharmed.
He also appreciated all the security agencies, traditional institutions, and individuals that played key roles in their release.
President Buhari, however, stressed that the military and 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,” he said.
In his remarks, Governor Masari said the security architecture in the country should be upgraded to ensure the safety of citizens, adding that the “kidnap of schoolchildren should never happen again”.
He revealed that the release of the children was through collaborations, negotiations, and discussions.
The governor thanked the President for consistently supporting the process, creating time for regular updates, and taking actions when needed.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians following the release of hundreds of schoolboys kidnapped by bandits.
“We are grateful to everyone who worked on securing their release,” the former Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State tweeted on Friday.
“And as President Buhari mentioned, this administration will continue to work hard at protecting the lives and property of all Nigerians at all times.”