Fears Of Another Chibok Girls Experience Looms In Katsina, Buhari Home State

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By Stephen Ubanna

 In spite of the tight security  mounted  around President Muhammadu  Buhari, a retired Army General,  who is in Katsina, his home state, on a   one week Private visit to Daura, his home town, he was said to have failed to use the opportunity to visit the government science secondary school, Kankara, in the north west state, the scene of the Bandits attack on Friday, December 11, 2020 .The bandits attack  had resulted in the kidnap of scores of students.

Bashir Magaji. a retired Major General and minister of Defence, had confirmed, based on the report of Masari, a former Speaker of House of Representtives and now governor of Katsina state that was presented to a delegation of the Federal government led by him and which also include the service Chiefs to Katsina to symphatise with the parents and teachers of the victims as well as the state government over the abduction, stating that 333 students were still unaccounted for as the school attacked by the bandits had a population of 839 students. The minister had said that the the government has yet to get an accurate figure as some of the missing student were still coming out from the forest.

The Coalition of  Northern  Groups,  CNG, under the close watch of Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, who is not happy that Buhari could be in Daura, his home town without visiting Kankara, the scene of the Bandits attack  had said that it clearly shows that  he  has ‘’failed  in discharging  his primary responsibility  of protecting  the lives  and properties  of the people’’.

Indeed, this was the same mistake that was made by former President Goodluck Jonathan when some 276 secondary school girls  in the town of Chibok  in Borno state, north east Nigeria,  were kidnapped by the Islamic extremist, BokoHaram, on the nights of April 14 and 15, 2014. The erstwhile president had failed to visit Chibok, the scene of the kidnap attack despite pressures on him from different quarters to do so.

Charanchi, the Coordinator of the CNG, who is not taking chances, according to close sources, has sent a message to Masari, the state governor, that ‘’if the government fail to  rescue the missing students  within  the shortest period possible, the group would be forced to mobilise hundreds   of thousands of  the youths  and get them on the streets of Katsina, for a  continuous  protest until the students are fully rescued’’. The minister had said that the abducted students would be released in a few hours but it has entered its fourth day.

The women may have beaten the CNG to it as they were said to have filed out to the streets on Sunday, December 13, 2020, carrying placards with different inscriptions: government must speak out, we want our children back, we want security in Kankara. They were said to have demanded prompt rescue of the abducted students by the bandits.

Magaji’s claims that the missing students would be released within a few hours may be hard to believe. The governor had said that”no group or person esponsible for the kidnap of the students had contacted the government for negotiation, fueling speculations that this may be another Chibok girls experience in the making.

Sadeeq Shehu, a retired ,Air Force Goup Captain and now a Professor at George Marshall European Centr for Security Studies, Germany, is opposed to use of Force by the government and the Authorities in Katsina to rescue the Kankara schoolboys from the hands f the bandits has recommended negotiation with them as the first step to take. Appearing on Channels Television recently, he said, ”when you have hostages with any criminal or any abductor, I think the first issue to think about will be a negotiation”. He noted that attacks on schools have become a function of terrorists and bandits not only in Nigeria but in many other countries around the world and we have to accept it instead of throwing blames.

Adejoro Adeoun, Chairman, House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, would nt agree with Shehu, the retired Group Captain suggestions that the government and the Authorities at Katsina should negotiate with the bandits to facilitate the release of the Kankara students in their custody. Adeogun, who could not hide his feelings had said that negotiating with the bandits or thinking of amnesty for them is usually an acceptance of failure on the part of the government. He recalled that in 2019, Massari, granted amnesty to cattle rustlers and armed bandits in the state as part of measures to restore peace in the state but the situation became worse. He has told those that cares to listen that negotiation with terrorists or bandits have failed in the north east state of Borno and may not work in Katsina state .

Masari Assures Of The Resue Of The Kankara Kidnapped Students

 An aggrieved Charanchi had said that the group would do it ‘’even if it’s  going to cost them their lives’’. The group may have learnt from the Chibok girl, experience, where the then Jonathan government could not rescue the girls   until he was swept out of office in 2015, leaving the coast clear for Buhari , his successor to use it and shine in his first term in office.

The CNG Coordinator has warned   that if the’’ security situation in the state do not change, it would be plunged into  anarchy’’.  This may  have informed why he has urged the Authorities to deploy ’’well-equipped  security operatives to all the day secondary  schools within the state. He was said to have also demanded from the Nigerian President to do everything within his capacity  to support, Marsari, the Katsina  state governor’s efforts  by deploying more armouured personnel carriers and fighter jets to the state so as to defeat the bandits.

Charanchi: CNG Coordinator, Threatens Mass Action Over Kidnapped Kankara Students

Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, may have known that the Force  has much  work to do in the search and rescue operation of the kidnapped Government science secondary school , Kankara, students, that he has risen up to the challenge by deploying more  police personnel  to Katsina state  in  support of  the ongoing  search and rescue operations   for the kidnapped students, who a source told The Value News were mostly boys.The police officials deployed to the President home state to contain the activities of the bandits were said to have been drawn from  the  Police Tactical Squads,PTS,  and Crack detectives  from the Force  Intelligence Bureau, FIB.

But Atiku Abubakar, a one-time Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019, Presidential elections had said the country security crisis has gone beyond using old strategies to address it, urging the Buhari government ‘’to abandon  the old  strategies  of tackling the Bandits and embrace  better ones’’.

Atiku Urges the Govt To Declare A State Of Emergency Over The State Of Insecurity In The Country

 Atiku, who may have given an insight of what he could have done if he is still in government  had asked Buhari ‘’to declare a state of emergency  over the state of insecurity in the country’’, noting that ‘’the abduction  of a  large number of  students  at the Government  Science secondary school, Kankara’’, which is in his own state ‘’ is a very unwelcome  escalation  of the spate  of insecurity  in the country’’.

An aggrieved Atiku, asserted that  the country  cannot continue to play a reactionary role   in its response  to the growing insecurity , insisting that the government has ’’to be  on the offensive and decisive  in the war  against terror and insecurity  in the states bedeviled  by banditry and terrorism’’. He had alluded to the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe,  where t Boko Haram and the Islamic State of the West African Province, ISWAP, have held the region hostage for almost a decade  and the north west states of Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna, where the Bandits are making live uncomfortable for the people.

The Opposition PDP, may have introduced a political dimension to the kidnap of the Government science secondary school, students in Kakara, as it has urged the people of Katsina ‘’to charge Buhari, as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces,  who had promised to lead the country by the front, ’’to account  for the abducted  Kankara science students’’.

The party  had said that  the large –scale abduction  of the Kankara students  had happened  a few hours  after  the Nigerian President  and his security machinery  took over the state last Thursday’’. The party lamented  that  at a time the people of Katsina state should be happy that their own son who is the President of Nigeria is in the state  to spend some days with them,’’the abduction of the Kankara secondary  science students had   happened right  under his nose, in his home state, where he had gone holidaying’’.

The Opposition party  may have  taken the Bandits abduction of the Kankara science students to shine had said that ‘’it has exposed  the failure  of the Nigerian President ‘’ to manage  the high-level security intelligence  that ought  to accompany  a Presidential visit’’. Worried that the Katsina state born Nigerian President had  cancelled his earlier agreed  appearance before the Femi Gbajabiamila led House of Representatives to address the security situation of the country to holidaying in Daura, his home town, the party said  he ‘’ left the national flanks  open for terrorists, bandits, vandals and kidnappers to operate’’.

The party stopped short at saying  that Buhari ‘’is  totally incapable of securing the nation’’,  This may have informed why Kola Ologbondiyan, the  spokesperson of the party had alluded to the fact that ‘’there  have been widespread  calls  by patriotic Nigerians  that he should resign’’ .  Even the party Caucus in the House may have taken advantage of  the cancellation  of  his  appearance in the House to lobby other members from across the  other parties including the ruling APC, to push for his impeachment on issues of failed  national security. The PDP Caucus in the House may not succeed as the APC  is in the majority and the House Leader are loyal to the President and the Party National Executive Council. They would do everything within their power to frustrate the Opposition PDP Caucus in the House plan.  It is not surprising why Buhari loyalists in the House  had described the  PDP Caucus plan as a failed plot.

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