For many parents and the people of Kankara in Katsina state, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, last Friday was nothing but a bad Friday, as gunmen attacked the Kankara Government Science Secondary School, carting away a yet to be confirmed number of students. Distressed parents have since besieged the school, in search of their children.
The disaster was reminiscent to what happened in Chibok, on the night of 14th April 2014, when about 300 female students were kidnapped from a Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno state. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack, the psychological effect of which is yet to wane from the mind.
Like Chibok, where 57 of the schoolgirls escaped in the months following the incident, while others were rescued by the military forces later, the police said they have rescued 200 out of the hundreds of the students kidnapped from Kankara on Friday night. For any parent, nothing can be more traumatizing than this.
The timing of the abduction is not only bizarre, but peculiarly puzzling, because it coincided with the visit of the President to the state. President Muhammadu Buhari, who had not visited his home town of Daura for exactly one year now, arrived in the state on a private visit just a few hours before the attack.
Undoubtedly, there is a message in the mischief, especially if the students’ abduction is juxtaposed with the attack in the nearby village of Yar Kuka, also in the same Kankara Local Government, where 12 people were reportedly killed and some others kidnapped. Similarly, on Thursday, few hours to the Kankara carnage, unknown gunmen were said to have attacked Dan Ali village, in Danmusa LGA, where they abducted a former education officer, and sent fears into the nerves of many residents.
Virtually every part of Katsina state, the home state of the President, is currently under siege by bandits, and the statistics of atrocities are increasingly escalating.
Speaking with reporters, the governor of the state, His Excellency Aminu Bello Masari, seems at the verge of giving up, because according to him, the incidents are going beyond imagination. Reporters have quoted him saying, “For us, it’s highly worrisome and disturbing. I am assuring parents and guardians of these children that – we couldn’t say that we are more disturbed than them – but to rest assured that we share the same worries with them, because we know that we have the responsibility to protect their lives and their health.”
Already there is a conspiracy theory about the covert activities of some influential people or organizations, that are responsible for these unexplained attacks, and the motive is simply to expose the perceived weaknesses of the President. Those behind the mischief are making efforts to expose PMB as an impotent President that has long lost control of power.
Before the Kankara carnage of last week, attempts were made to embarrass the President through similar but aborted legislative shenanigans, where PMB was obliquely, or indirectly summoned by the legislators, to come forward and shade light on the observed security lapses in the country.
Although the legislators made it look like the normal discharge of vested responsibility, many pundits were quick to smell a rat in the motive behind the invitation. There were justifiable suspicion in the direction of plans to plunge the country into another political disaster, because if the President is openly embarrassed at the National Assembly, the humiliation may come with a “rob-off” effect on his region.
That calamity was carefully avoided by the timely intervention of Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, who gave an interpretation of why the National Assembly lacks the constitutional powers to summon President Muhammadu Buhari.
The perpetrators of these crimes are daily changing tactics and becoming bolder in temerity, and in the pursuit of their mission to humiliate a President that suffered heavily from a health challenge in his first term, they are conniving with all manner of people to execute all manner of transgressions.
One of the tactics in vogue is the use of mercenaries, or hired gunmen, who, in concert with fellow, but unknown criminals, would disguise as security operatives, approach an innocent or unsuspecting person, coarse him to follow them under fake, invented or trumped-up charges, exuding excessive confidence or boldness, that they are law enforcement agents. Some even get the escort of some unscrupolous mebers of the learned profession. In the end, the victim would end up in a kidnappers den, from where he or she would be turned into a tool of exploitation. Kano, the immediate neighbour of Katsina state to the east, is beginning to play host to some of these criminals.
PMB and his handlers must wake up and smell the coffee, by commissioning serious investigations on the perpetrators’ new mode of operation, whom I believe, have infiltrated all professions, including the security agents and those in the teaching profession, who give clues about the vulnerability of students.
Anyone that come short of expectations, particularly those that are entrusted with public safety and the protection of Human rights, must be sacrificed as service for deterrence, against those terrorizing the public and petrifying the President.