The dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has claimed it was responsible for the abduction of hundreds of students in Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Nigeris’ North-Western state of Katsina.
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state had confirmed that at least 333 students are still missing since the attack late Friday on the all-boys school.
The claim of responsibility marks a major turning point in the dangerous advance of jihadist groups in northwest Nigeria.
Hitherto, Boko Haram, and a splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), which is waging an insurgency in the North-East , is thought to have only a minor presence in the North-West
In a voice message he release, the leader of the sect said that they are behind the abduction.
We are behind what happened in Katsina,” Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in an audio message posted by the Nigerian news portal HumAngle.
“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage non-Islamic practices, as Western education is not the kind of education allowed by Allah and His Holy Prophet,” Shekau said.
In the attack, which occurred on Friday, more than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school north of Kankara town, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush and going away with hundreds..
#BringBackOurBoys has been trending on social media since the weekend in reference to a similar hashtag used after Boko Haram abducted 276 girls in 2014 in Chibok, in North-Eastern Nigeria.
The weekend attack was initially blamed on armed groups locally known as “bandits”, whose hideout the army said they have located.
But the claim by Boko Haram might have deflated the ‘bandits’ claim
The kidnappings occurred in the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was visiting his country home at the time of the attack.
Meanwhile the Senate has summoned the Minister of Defence, the service chiefs, and heads of the Nigerian Police Force and the Department of State Service over the unending insecurity situation in the country.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Senator Bello Mandiya from Katsina State on the abduction of about 330 students of a secondary school in the state recently by unknown bandits.
The senate also urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the report of the Senate Committee on Security challenges without further delay, while the members in their various contributions to the motion, specifically, passed a vote of no confidence in the various heads of security agencies in the country over their inability to prevent the abduction of the innocent children.
They also expressed deep anger and disappointment that the president had consistently ignored all resolutions passed by the upper legislative chamber on the issue of insecurity in the country.