Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina revealed Sunday that 333 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara are still missing or kidnapped.
This was after the audit of the students that he ordered on Saturday, following the attack by bandits.
Masari gave the figure when he received a Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd.).
The delegation which also comprised Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Air Staff, and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, came on a sympathy visit, after Friday’s abduction of the students of the school.
“The children so far kidnapped cut across the state because the boarding school houses all children from all parts of the state and some even from outside the state.
“It has a population of 839 and so far we are yet to account for 333 students.
“We are still counting because more are coming out from the forest and we are calling those parents that have phone numbers to find out whether or not their children have gone back home.
“Based on the available record we have, we are still searching for 333 students.”
Masari said the bandits were yet to contact either the government or anybody on the abduction.
If the students were found to have been eventually captured, it will be the biggest kidnapping incident, since the Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014.
The schoolgirls captured were 276. Till date, 112 have not returned home.
On 19 February, 2018, Boko Haram came for 110 Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe.
Five of the schoolgirls died on the same day of their kidnapping.
The others were released in March 2018, except the lone Christian girl Leah Sharibu.
She remains in captivity.
On Sunday, the leader of the Federal government delegation, Bashir Magashi, who is the defence minister, asked the armed forces, the police and other security agencies to move faster to ensure the speedy rescue of the students.
“Today we are here also to sympathise with you over the recent abduction of secondary school students which is a more or less ruthless exercise conducted to tamper with the education of the students,” he said.
“With the brief, we received from the sister security agencies in the state, this task will be very simple to accomplish.
“Within the next few hours, we will ensure that these people are back without any collateral damage to the people of Katsina State.
“All hands are on deck to ensure we accomplish our tasks within the armed forces and the police.”, he said.