On February 26, gunmen invaded Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata-Mafara LGA of Zamfara state, and kidnapped 279 schoolchildren.
At the time, the incident was the latest in the series of mass abductions targeted at schools in northern Nigeria.
Hours before the students were freed, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said President Muhammadu Buhari had promised that the Jangebe incident would be the last of its kind.
Speaking when he led a federal government delegation to Zamfara after the students were kidnapped, Sirika conveyed Buhari’s message condemning the attack.
“This abduction of the female students in Jangebe will be the last as the federal government has reorganised the security architecture of the country to nip all the atrocities of these criminals,” Sirika had said.
“The president is saddened by the abduction of the students from Jangebe and reassures you that the government has all the resources and wherewithal to contain these criminals.”
Sirika had later said there were possible plans by criminals to attempt another abduction in a bid to embarrass the federal government.
The minister, however, assured Nigerians that plans are in place to ensure that Buhari’s promise to keep schools safe does not fail.
Two weeks after the federal government’s pledge as conveyed by Sirika, the bandits struck again — this time in Kaduna.
The gunmen invaded the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Igabi LGA of the state and abducted over 30 students.
Their whereabouts have since then remained unknown.
A few days later, in another attack, suspected bandits invaded UBE primary school in Rama, Birnin-Gwari LGA of the state.
According to Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna commissioner for internal security and home affairs, two pupils who were initially missing were later found. He, however, added that three teachers — Rabiu Salisu, Umar Hassan, and Bala Adamu — were abducted from the school.
Despite the government’s promise to address insecurity, especially as it concerns learning environments, the attacks have continued. The question now is: Was it to embarrass Buhari, or is it just another instance of the failure of the government to secure citizens and vulnerable schoolchildren?