The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Friday that although President Muhammadu Buhari did not visit the Kankara school nor meet with the affected parents, he was busy in Daura coordinating the abducted boys’ rescue.
The minister noted that the coordinated rescue efforts produced the release of the over 300 pupils of the Government Senior Secondary School, Kankara, who were abducted last Friday.
Buhari had come under intense criticism from several quarters over his failure to visit the affected school and community, which is only three hours by road to Daura, despite having time to visit his cattle farm.
President @MBuhari Appears In New Video Visiting His Cows In Katsina After Refusing To Visit Families And School Of Kidnapped Katsina Students | Sahara Reporters https://t.co/kot4yis9Nh pic.twitter.com/PVveM3OF52
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 14, 2020
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, Mohammed played down the dust generated by Buhari’s action.
He said, “Yes, the president did not visit the town but he was busy coordinating the entire operation to ensure the safe return of the students within the fastest time possible.
“The release of these schoolboys 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. 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 is the fact 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 Christ Church, New Zealand.
“I have given these instances to support the fact that no nation, no matter how powerful, is immune to security challenges.”
The same minister had in March 2014 as the All Progressives Congress’ spokesman lambasted former President Goodluck Jonathan over the rising insecurity.
He had said the Boko Haram insurgency and other crises in the country were as a result of Jonathan being “backed by a greedy, vision-less and crooked cabal, both within his government and his party.”