Gentlemen of the press, good afternoon, and thank you for honouring our invitation despite the short notice.
2. As you are aware, 344 school boys who were kidnapped from their school in Kankara in Katsina State last Friday have all been released unharmed. They will undergo necessary medical tests before they are released to their families.
3. The Federal Government is most grateful to our security and intelligence agencies for this great feat. We also wish to thank the
governments of Katsina and Zamfara states, and indeed all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria.
4. Let me be clear: What happened in Kankara – and in Chibok and Dapchi before it – is totally unacceptable. Our children should not
have to go to school in trepidation. The Federal Government is doing everything possible to secure all our schools, and indeed all
Nigerians. And we will not relent until all Nigerians can go to bed at night with their two eyes closed.
5. The release of these school boys is a testament to the importance that this Administration attaches to the security and safety of all
Nigerians. There is no government in the world that will not face the challenges of security at one time or another. No government in the
world is immune to terrorist attacks. What stands any government out is the way and manner it responds to such challenges.
6. For example, school shooting has been a recurring challenge in the United States. Between 2010 and 2020, almost 200 school children were killed and many more injured in various school shooting incidents. Needless to say that the world’s most powerful country suffered a tragic terrorist attack in September 2001 that claimed almost 3,000 lives. In France, between 2010 and 2020, 286 people were killed in various terrorist incidents. And in New Zealand, in March 2019, 49 people were killed in shootings at two mosques in ChristChurch, New Zealand. I have given these instances to support the fact that no nation, no matter how powerful, is immune to security challenges.
7. Back here in Nigeria, the abduction of the Kankara school boys marked the second of its kind under this Administration, coming after
the unfortunate abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, in February 2018. Just like the good news from Kankara, all but one of the kidnapped school girls in Dapchi were rescued unharmed. And in 2014, 276 school girls were abducted by terrorists in Chibok, Borno State, out of which 112 remain in captivity after this Administration rescued over 100 of the school girls.
8. Let me state here that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will do everything possible to prevent a recurrence of these
school abductions. But we also make bold to say that we have moved with speed and determination each time we have faced the challenge of school abductions, and the results attest to this. Each time this has happened, we have always accepted responsibility, rather than being in denial. And that has made all the difference in whether or not the abducted school children have been recovered. We will not relent until all those who remain missing in Chibok and Dapchi and reunited with their families.
9. Irrespective of the security challenges that we, as a nation, may be facing at this time, they are not insurmountable. We can only
appeal to those who are quick to politicize the issue of security to desist from such. The reactions in certain quarters to the Kankara
incident was shameful. Some Nigerians went as far as denigrating their government and country in the most uncouth and irresponsible manner. They simply threw decorum to the wind and allowed their emotions to take a better part of them. When disasters and tragedies strike, people come together. We hope the naysayers have learnt their lessons. And we hope those who have started trading and politicking with the hashtag ‘BringBackOurBoys’ can now go home, as our boys have been brought back, even before their dubious campaign could take off.
10. We congratulate the parents and guardians of the 344 boys from Kankara, who will soon reunite with their children and wards. We
congratulate the government and people of Katsina state, and indeed all Nigerians. Once again, we thank all our committed and patriotic
security and intelligence agencies.
11. I thank you all for your kind attention. I will now take your questions