Put aside your predicament, focus on your goals – Buhari tells freed Kankara schoolboys

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Buhari’s government created abduction of school children – Ezekwesisli

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with the 344 students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara, Katsina who were rescued after spending seven days in bandits’ captivity.

It would be recalled that gun trotting criminals had stormed the all-boys boarding school on December 11 and took the students to a forest in neigbouring Zamfara State where they stayed until they regained freedom.

Addressing the boys at the Government House, Katsina, the president who spoke in Hausa language advised the students to “try and forget about the incident and focus on your educational goals.”

He said the future belongs to the youth, especially those who are educated, as well as those who are in the sciences, which their school specialises on.

“You’re lucky. Your school focuses on the sciences and sciences are part of modernisation, which allows you to secure good jobs.

“The future is not for those that read English Language or History, but for those that read the sciences. I hope you will forget what happened to you and focus on your education instead,” he said.

He stressed that the government would continue to improve the nation’s security system.

The President, who tasked the pupils not to be distracted by the misfortune of their kidnapping, said the reward of knowledge acquisition was non-negotiable.

The President described their plight as a test of character and determination to succeed in life.

He assured them that the federal government would upgrade the security structure in the country to ensure more safety.

Imploring the students to put their predicament in the hands of their abductors behind them, Buhari insisted that there is no alternative to education

“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 to good education; so you must return to school and continue.

“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 said.

He stated that some of his relations who did not acquire education are now paying the price, as their animals and land had become less productive.

“I have relations that are not educated and their cows have finished, while their lands are not as productive as before.

“It is because I acquired education; that is why I am where I am today. Therefore, try your best to acquire both western and religious education, so that you become what you want to be in life,” he added.

He commended the governor of Katsina State, Mr. Aminu Masari, for working tirelessly to ensure the kidnapped boys were freed unharmed.

He also expressed appreciation to all security agencies, traditional institutions and individuals who played key roles in the rescue efforts.

Buhari said the military and security agencies still had a lot to do to secure both 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 added.

Masari, in his remarks told the president that the boys returned with nothing on them.

“These students returned barefooted. None of them wore any sandals while they were being brought here,” he said.

Meanwhile, a former minister of education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, has alleged that Buhari’s administration created the abduction of over 300 schoolboys.

She said the president and his government should not be congratulated over the release of the schoolboys after six days in captivity.

Speaking late yesterday during an interview with Channels Television, Ezekwesili who is one of the co-conveners of the Bring Back Our Girls movement which led the demonstrations for the rescue of over 250 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, said the Buhari regime must tell Nigerians exactly what happened in Kankara when gunmen on motorcycles attacked the school and abducted hundreds of students.

While Nigerians delight in the news of the released schoolboys, Ezekwesili said Buhari should be disgusted with what happened.

“For us to congratulate a government that created a problem and said it solved it? We shouldn’t be doing that. The society should learn how to hold people accountable. The President should be disgusted with what happened, not commending himself. What is he clapping for? Those children were put in harm’s way. And now he said he’s rescued them? Maybe the President sent the children on an excursion to terrorists so they can release children at will to him.

“He needs to tell us exactly what happened with the Kankara kids. There is a problem. This country should not be taken for a ride by President Buhari and his government. This is very unbecoming and the whole world is laughing at us. They think we are jokers. Many countries didn’t even bother to show that anything had happened in our country because they felt who are these people and what are they doing to themselves?”

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