A total of 668 students of the Government Science Secondary School Kankara, Katsina State are reportedly still missing following Friday, December 11, invation and abduction of hundreds of students around 11pm by bandits.
Relevant authorities have given conflicting figures regarding the number of students who are still in captive as search and rescue operations continue.
Quoting the school register, Daily Trust said: “One of our reporters, who was at the school yesterday gathered that at the time of the incident, the school had 1,074 students in both its Junior and Senior Secondary sections in session.”
The report quoted a source in the school as saying, “in the junior section, there are six classes, comprising JSS 1A, which has 58 students, 1B, which has 62 students and 1C, which has 64 students; JSS 2A has 74 students, 2B has 79 students and 2C has 75 students.
“As for the senior section, we have seven classes, which include SS1A, 97; 1B, 108; 1C, 106 and 1D, 118. While in SS2, we have 2A, 74; 2B, 79 and 2C, 80, giving a total of 1074 students.”
The source added that both SS3 and JSS 3 students have completed their exams, hence they were not in school during the attack.
The Presidency had earlier countered Governor Bello Masari claims that that three hundred and thirty-three students are missing following an attack on Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Katsina state.
Masari in a statement released on Sunday December 13, said that 333 boys were still missing after bandits struck at the school. He said;
“Based on the available record we have, we are still searching for 333 students through either the forest or their parents to ascertain the actual number that have been kidnapped. We are still counting because more are coming out from the forest and we are calling through the numbers those parents that have phone numbers to find out whether or not their children have gone back home.
We as government we are yet to be contacted by any group or person responsible for the kidnap of the students.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu however told BBC Hausa Service that only 10 boys were abducted by the bandits. He said;
“The Government of Nigeria has said its security forces have surrounded the location where gunmen have kept schoolchildren abducted from a secondary school in Katsina State.
“Spokesman for the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, told the BBC only 10 children were remaining in the hands of the gunmen according to their colleagues who escaped from the gunmen. The number is below figures released by school authorities at the beginning. Garba Shehu said the school children who escaped said 10 of their friends were still with their abductors.”