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Nigerian president hails release of abducted students of north-central school

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-02-27 20:49

LAGOS - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday welcomed the release of students, school staff and family members of school staff abducted by gunmen in Niger state, a north-central state of the country last week.

Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman Garba Shehu, welcomes the release of students, school staff and family members of school staff, and commended the nation's security and intelligence agencies and the government of Niger state for their responses in securing the release.

"We are happy they have been released," Buhari said while sympathizing with the staff and the students, their parents and friends on this ordeal.

He warned that the country will not continue to suffer these attacks that threaten the growth of education, security and the life of the future leaders at the same time putting the nation in a negative light.

Buhari also reiterated his earlier advice to school owners, particularly the state and local governments, as well as religious organizations to scale up security around their schools.

The Nigerian leader again condemned the school abductions, with the latest one at the Government Girls Secondary School at Jangebe town in the northwest state of Zamfara on Friday.

He directed all security and intelligence agencies in the country to "hunt down the culprits and bring them to justice".

Mary Noel-Berje, the spokesperson to the governor of Niger state, confirmed in a statement that "kidnapped students, staff and family members of the Government Science College Kagara have regained freedom and received by the Niger state government", without giving an exact number of victims freed.

Noel-Berje said more details will be given later.

A group of gunmen had on February 17 stormed the boarding school at Kagara town of the Rafi local government area of the state, and whisked away 42 people, including 27 students, three school staff, and 12 family members of the school staff. One student was killed during the attack.

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