The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has said no one can yet ascertain the number of students who were kidnapped after bandits raided a secondary school in the state.
Masari said this when he spoke with newsmen on Saturday.
The initial figure being bandied on the social media put the number of kidnapped students from Government Science Secondary School in Ƙanƙara Local Government Area of the state on Friday night at over 600.
However, Masari told newsmen that no fewer than 426 students had been counted as safe, with the management of the school saying 884 students were present at the time of the attack.
Masari said: “This incidence has gone beyond imagination.
“For us, it’s highly worrisome and disturbing.
“I am assuring parents and guardians of these children that – we couldn’t say that we are more disturbed than them – but to be rest assured that we share the same worry with them because we know that we have the responsibility to protect their lives and their health.”
Masari, who further told newsmen that all was being done to secure the release of the students, said he has been given assurance by the Nigerian Army that something positive would happen.
He said: “And by God’s grace, we will do all that it takes to rescue the entire abducted students.
“I urge you people in the name of Allah and his prophet to please remain patient and intensify prayers.
“This is because sharing blames and all sorts of abuses are not the solution in this trying time.
“Honestly speaking, we are not enjoying what is taking place and we are not executing what we are supposed to do when it comes to the issue of protection of lives of our people.
“We want to assure you that we will do all what is possible on the school children as we have directed for the immediate closure of all schools in the state and that all students should be taken back home.”