President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military, police, and other security agencies in the country to ensure the safe and quick rescue of all kidnapped victims.
Buhari, who gave the directive on Monday in a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, expressed concern over attacks on Kaduna and Niger states, which he said are largely targeted at students.
While noting the ongoing deployment of additional operatives to all troubled areas, the president urged security outfits to “act swiftly” to rescue all abducted schoolchildren in the affected states and ensure their safe return.
The president described kidnapping as “cowardly and despicable, as well as an assault on affected families and the nation”.
Buhari said the disturbing incidents of students’ kidnapping, mostly in northern states, was already threatening to undermine efforts in boosting school enrolments in states that were adjudged educationally backward.
He called on state governments to ensure compliance with the United Nations-supported safe schools’ programme, which the present administration had adopted.
Suspected bandits had, on Monday, kidnapped an unknown number of students from Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Chikun LGA of Kaduna state.
The gunmen were said to have invaded the school at about 2am.
However, about 26 of the abducted students have reportedly been rescued by the police.
The incident is the second abduction in the state within the last 24 hours.
At least eight persons were abducted on Sunday, following an attack by gunmen at the staff quarters of the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy in Zaria.