The Presidency has denied media reports that President Muhammadu Buhari promised there will no longer be abduction of students from schools in the country.
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, who had led a delegate of the Federal Government to Zamfara State earlier this month, to commiserate with the people after bandits abducted 317 students from Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, said the incident would be the last of such in the country.
“This abduction of the female students in Jangebe will be the last as the federal government has reorganised the security architecture of the country to nib all the atrocities of these criminals,” he was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria to have said.
“The president is saddened by the abduction of the students from Jangebe and reassures you that the government has all the resources and wherewithal to contain these criminals.”
However, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, who featured on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, said the minister has since said it was not what he meant to say.
When asked if the Presidency should apologise to Nigerians over the kidnapping of 39 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State on March 12, 2021, after the promise by the President, Shehu said:
“Even your own network carried the minister of aviation, senator Hadi Sirika taking back what he said in that regard. And he said clearly that what he meant to say was that ‘hopefully this should be the last’.
“And warned in that press briefing that he is also conscious of the fact that in order to bridge the confidence of the government, some dare-devil elements will try this sort of thing happening elsewhere and we are not surprised that they have tried it”.
On what the federal government is doing to ensure the release of the abducted Kaduna students, who have spent two weeks with their captors, the presidential spokesman stated:
“The government is working not only with the state, the federal government is not only working with the state government. The UN is interested and all of that.”