NA hands over 137 rescued Kaduna school children to Sani

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The Nigerian Army has handed over 131 of the 137 rescued Kuriga school children to the Kaduna state governor, Senator Uba Sani.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), I Division of the Nigerian Army and Force Commander, Operation WHIRL PUNCH, Major. Gen. Mayirenso Saraso, handed over the children to Sani on Monday at the Government House, Kaduna.
Speaking during the occasion, Saraso said, all the 137 children were rescued unhurt, saying however that six of them were currently receiving medication at the army health facility in Kaduna.
He said the only teacher, Abubakar, who was abducted alongside the children, died while in captivity.
According to the GOC, the children were rescued in Dansadau forest in Zamfara state, through sustained and  coordinated application of both kinetic and non-kinetic efforts by the security agencies under the strategic guidance of President Bola Tinubu.
“Recall that on Thursday, 7th March 2024, some violent extremists and insurgents (VE/I) infamously called armed bandits invaded the LEA Primary School and the Government Secondary School both co-located at Kuriga, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where they criminally abducted several pupils and students including a staff member of one of the two schools.
“Through the sustained and coordinated application of both kinetic and non-kinetic efforts by the security agencies under the strategic guidance of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the abducted Kuriga school children have in the early hours of yesterday Sunday 24th March 2024, been safely rescued after spending about 16 days in captivity”, the GOC said.
He added that, “The students were initially received and administered first aid at the Nigerian Army Troops Forward Operating Base Dandadau, in Zamfara State before being served refreshment and subsequently conveyed from there under escort to Kaduna this morning/afternoon.
“In all, there were 137 children and one staff member making 138 persons altogether that were abducted from the co-located schools on the ill-fated day.
“But unfortunately the staff member, Mr Abubakar is not here with us today because he died while in captivity.
“Consequently, there are here at present, a total of 137 students of the Govt Secondary and LEA Primary Schools Kuriga in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State who were successfully rescued from captivity around Dansadau Forest in Zamfara State and safely brought back to Kaduna. “The breakdown of the figure of the rescued children shows that there are 76 females and 61 males making the total of 137 all together (less the teacher that died while in captivity).”
Saraso thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support and strategic guidance, through the Ministers of Defence, the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Service Chiefs, Heads of other Security and law enforcement agencies, the Kaduna state government and the GOC, 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, who severally contributed in the successful rescue efforts and the safe return of the school children, “without payment of ransom”.
In his remarks, Governor Sani said expressed happiness over the safe return of the children and thank the security agencies for their efforts in freeing the children.
The governor also warned the media, insecurity and conflicts merchants to be cautious of about issues concerning security.
“We have to be cautious, we should not politicise the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.
“Any attempt to continue to undermine the efforts of security agencies in Nigeria in the name of politics is jeopardizing the lives and property of our innocent citizens in Nigeria”, the governor said.
Speaking further, he said, “I want to caution particularly the media and some elements within the society.
“Since the return of these children they have been coming with some permutations about what happened and how this children were released.
“In my own opinion maybe most of these people are not happy that these children are back, because if they are happy, they should celebrate it.
“That is the most important thing just like the families of this children are celebrating their returns”.
The governor said the Kaduna state government is happy over the release of the children.
“We had 16 days of sleepless nights but today we are happy that the children are back and I want to emphasize again that in Kaduna, we will continue to work with relevant security agencies to ensure that all our communities are safe at the grassroots”, he said.
The governor also called on communities to tackle the issue of informants in their midst.
The children arrived at the Government House at about 2pm in buses belonging to the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army amid tight security.
They were dressed in new clothes and shoes and were in high spirit. Journalists were prevented from interviewing them.
Their parents were conspicuously absent at the event. It was learnt that the absence of the parents was to prevent them from interacting with the media.
The state government is expected to host the children to a dinner in the evening (of Monday).

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