The Federal Government on Tuesday appealed to bandits and their sponsors to desist from kidnapping students in schools, saying their action is a huge setback to the advancement of education in the country.
Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba made the appeal while reacting to reports that three more abducted students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary school in Kaduna State have been found.
The three students (all male) were found by troops at the Kankumi forest general area in Chikun local government where they were abandoned by their abductors.
Speaking while featuring as a guest on Channels Television programme Politics Today monitored by Daily Independent, the Minister who said he is elated by the news also appealed to the parents of the abducted students that the federal government is doing all it can to ensure those in captivity are all rescued.
He said “I am elated. This is the kind of news I want to be hearing everyday. They should please return our children to us. I am so happy for these parents. I was in Katsina to meet with these ex-servicemen who are flying that area. I also want to encourage our military. They are doing a tremendous work in combing the areas and tackling these bandits”.
“I am appealing to the bandits and whoever talks to them to leave our schools alone. We already have many issues from Kagara to Jingali to Jangebe and all the other places they have gone to just to disrupt schooling activities for our children” .
“It is unprecedented and the atmosphere of insecurity that they cause parents is a big setback for us in the school agenda. From the days of Chibok, because all of these started from the Chibok era, once you have people who are outside government holding arms, they can do anything at anytime”.
“From there, they went to Buni-Yadi and from there, they are now parading all these places now. It has been seven, eight years now of constantly dealing with these matter . I think they are disrupting education, particularly in the North where we have huge challenges that are culturally and geo-spatially induced”.
“So, I am really glad to have these three back and I think we should have all of them back. Please, any kind of help we can get. I appeal to parents to please bear with us. The federal government is doing as much as we can possibly do. I know it is disheartening how you feel and I am appealing as one of the ministers you have put in government that we take responsibility and we are doing the most we can on this matter”.
The Minister also disclosed that Nigeria will get a total of $125m as its shares from the Global Education Summit, Minister of State for Education.
President Muhammadu Buhari and other world leaders who attended the summit raised US$5 billion to support education systems in up to 90 countries and territories, where 80% of the world’s out-of-school children live.
Nwajiuba said that amount was the highest Nigeria has got and it was made possible because the President personally attended the conference.