Katsina abduction: Student recounts near-death experience before escape
The Nigeria Union of Teachers on Tuesday threatened to embark on a nationwide strike following continued threat to lives of its members and students.
The Secretary-General of the NUT, Dr Mike Ene, stated this in a statement in Abuja while reacting to the abduction of 333 students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State and other cases in the country.
Ene said this just as one of the abducted students narrated how he escaped from bandits.
The Junior Secondary School 2 student ,Tsanni Mani, in an interview with journalists in Kankara, said he escaped from the bandits very early on Saturday morning.
He also said the bandits divided the abducted boys into batches.
Mani spoke 24 hours after the killing of the two of the abducted boys was reported.
Reacting to the abduction, the NUT called on government at all levels to ensure adequate security and 24-hour surveillance in schools in order not to escalate the disruption of the academic calendar.
The NUT said it was highly disturbed by the re-emerging school invasion and abduction of teachers and students across the country’s educational institutions.
It stated, “The wicked and merciless hands of anti-education terrorists clinched Mr Alu Ola Paul a head teacher with Olagua Primary School Ohordua in Edo State, and kidnapped him on his way to work on December 1, 2020 and released him six day later.
Kidnapped Delta teachers yet to be released, NUT laments
“ On December 8, 2020, Mrs Gladys Niemogha Belleh and Mrs Blessing Emunefe both of whom are teachers of Ohorhe Secondary School, Effurun in Delta State were kidnapped in their school premises by bandits and have yet to be released, thereby throwing both families, students, and the school community into emotional and overall destabilisation.
“Similarly, the night of Friday, December 11, 2020 Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, was invaded by bandits with reports that 333 students yet to be accounted for as of today. This dastardly act has sent shivers down the spines of other members of the entire school community of Katsina state.
“In light of these recent developments, the NUT may be compelled to down tools, pending when it is safe for our members to teach and guide our pupils and students without fear of abduction by these faceless enemies of educational prosperity of the Nigerian nation.
“The NUT herewith extends our appeal to all stakeholders to join hands with the government and security agencies to provide adequate protection for the students, pupils, teachers and the school communities, to ensure that educational activities are not hampered by enemies of the nation’s educational system using schools as soft targets.
“In order not to escalate the disruption of our academic calendar which is in a fragile state as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the NUT unequivocally calls on the federal, state and local governments to ensure adequate security and 24 hour surveillance around our schools.
“Also the government must begin to consider the implementation of life insurance and hazard allowance to teachers in our basic and senior secondary schools as approved by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day 2020.”
How I escaped – Schoolboy
In Kankara, one of the abducted students, Mani, said his escape was aided by one of the bandits very early on Saturday.
Mani stated, “My escape is a miracle. But all I know was that all along when we were abducted, I kept on saying Allahu Akbar (God is great). The bandits divided us into batches so I cannot give exact figures of all of us. It was one of the bandits whom God used to ensure my escape early Saturday morning.
“The bandit showed me an escape route very early Saturday morning which made me to escape and return home.”
A parent, Faiza Kankara, had on Monday said that her son was among the abducted students. She said the son, who escaped, told her that the bandits killed two of the students.
The two students were said to have been killed while trying to escape. Punch