Defence Headquarters, on Wednesday, assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari is safe in his Daura hometown in Katsina State.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, who gave this assurance, stressed that President’s security is not under any form of threat from the rampaging bandits in his home state.
On Friday night, bandits invaded Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, and abducted over 300 schoolboys after an exchange of gunshots with the police. The same day, a few hours before the abduction of the schoolboys, President Buhari had arrived in the state for a week-long private.
But Enenche, who spoke on Arise TV’s The Morning Show, said the military guaranteed the President’s safety in his home town.
According to him, “One of the major tasks of the Armed Force of Nigeria is to ensure the protection of government and state actors and in that regard, the Commander-In-Chief is very safe in Katsina and anywhere that he is or will be at all times.”
The military spokesman, who also dismissed reports that Boko Haram was behind the Kankara abduction, said military operations to secure the release of the abducted schoolboys had begun.
Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a recording on Tuesday, had said the abduction of the schoolboys was done in order to discourage people from obtaining western education.
But in his reaction to Shekau’s claim, Enenche said, “On the basis of the characteristics of terrorists all over the world from the time of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Al-Shabaab, all of them, wherever they will boost their ego or show relevance, that is what they will do.
“What did they even do? Somebody spoke on audio and said, ‘I am Shekau.’ Shekau on a secondary note is a brand. All that needs to be done is somebody using his voice. The total aim of terrorists is to instill fear into people even beyond their scope of influence.
“So, it is easy for the layman to agree that it is them (Boko Haram) because even if it is kidnappers or armed robbers, their aim is to instill fear and kill.”
But he appealed to the parents of the abducted students to “have short patience” with the military forces, saying, “With what the military is doing, by the grace of Almighty God, very soon, the children will be back.”
Enenche also called for more cooperation by all stakeholders and the people of Katsina State to ensure the schoolboys are rescued without any record of casualty.