No fewer than 54 students have been declared missing after gunmen suspected to be bandits invaded Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.
It was learnt that the bandits had operated at the Kankara town where they abducted some people before finally invading the boarding school at about 10:00 pm on Friday.
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in Daura, his hometown, for a week-long private visit. Buhari arrived Katsina on Friday.
THISDAY reliably gathered that the incident forced the remaining students, who survived the invasion, to vacate the school in the night as parents were said to be busy searching for their children as at Saturday morning.
A credible source within the school, who confirmed the incident to THISDAY in a telephone interview on Saturday, said out of 884 students of the school, 54 were missing after the invasion by the hoodlums.
The bandits riding on motorcycles, according to the sources, came in large numbers and started shooting sporadically and shot one of the police officers manning the school gate who is currently receiving treatment at Kankara General Hospital.
The source explained that the bandits then moved to the staff quarters of the school where they abducted an elderly woman before whisking away unspecified number of students who were sleeping in their hostels
He said: “54 students out of 884 are still missing after the attack. The situation has forced the remaining students to vacate the school. Government and security agencies must wake up and do what is expected of them if not the bandits will finish us”.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari, who visited the school on Saturday, ordered for the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools in the state.
The governor, flanked by his Deputy Alhaji Mannir Yakubu and other government officials, met with the school officials, some parents, traditional and religious leaders as well as security personnel in the area.
Masari, who could not control his emotions , pleaded with the people to be patient and show restraint and understanding, assuring them that government will do every necessary thing to ensure the release of all the abducted students.
He said already, security officials, comprising the military, the police and the Department of State Security had swung into action and were on the trail of the abductors.
Governor Masari further assured that both governments at federal and state levels were doing their best to bring an end to banditry and other debilitating criminal activities in the state.
According to him, the government is very firm in its resolve to be ruthless in any engagement with the bandits.