President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday urged rescued students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State to remain focused in pursuing their interest of acquiring good education despite the misfortune of kidnapping, noting that the reward of knowledge is not negotiable.
The President, who met with the 344 students at the Banquet Hall of the Katsina State Government House, said the unfortunate incident was a test of character and determination to succeed in life, assuring the students that the Federal Government will upgrade the security structure in the country to ensure more safety.
“My dear children, don’t be discouraged with what has happened,” he said, adding: “Give your attention to acquiring knowledge and developing good character, and you will be distinguished in life.
“I know that you have been through a lot.
“The suffering you went through, please put it aside, and try to forget the painful experience.
“There is no substitute to good education, so you must return to school and continue.
“If I wasn’t educated I will not be standing here today in front of you.
“I schooled in Katsina for nine years.
“I moved on to join the Army, served as a governor, Head of State, went to prison, came out and later joined politics.
“I contested presidential elections three times, and finally I was declared a winner in 2015.”
The President commended the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, for working tirelessly to ensure that the kidnapped children were returned unharmed, while appreciating all the security agencies, traditional institutions and individuals that played key roles in their rescue.
President Buhari said the military and security agencies still had a lot to do to secure the country and its citizens.
He said: “This is their job.
“They signed for it.
“Whether they like it or not, they will have to provide security for the country.”
In his remarks, Masari said the security architecture in the country should be upgraded to ensure safety of citizens, adding that the “kidnap of school children should never happen again”.
The Governor said the release of the children was through collaborations, negotiations and discussions, thanking the President for consistently supporting the process, creating time for regular updates and taking actions when needed.