• As they reunite with parents

From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

Several school children who were recently freed in Kuriga town within Chikun local government area of Kaduna State have attributed their abduction to destiny, suggesting that it was God’s will for them to experience captivity.

The school children of Kuriga LEA primary school and secondary school were kidnapped on March 7 and freed on March 24 by troops of the Nigerian Army after 17 days in captivity in Zamfara State.

One of the students, Suleiman Lawal said, “It was God that destined that, some people will come and abduct us and take us into the bush and by the will of God, He destined that, we will come out safely.

“We have been well received. Those that are injured were treated and we are happy. We are grateful to the government and the Governor of Kaduna State. May God continue to uplift them.

“Our coming here has given the desire to pursue my education to a greater height by God’s grace”.

Another student, Aisha Mohammed said: “We are grateful to the government, especially the Commissioner of Human Services and the Governor who helped us to see our parents again. We pray that God will continue to uplift them. We are also praying that God will also make our dreams come to pass.”

Earlier, while addressing the students at the women and children’s Shelter where they were kept to receive psycho-social therapy, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Abdulkadir Meyere
said, “We should all thank God. It would be recalled that on the very day that this incident happened, the Governor came down to Kuriga to see you people of Kuriga community to sympathize with you and to assure you as the Governor of Kaduna State of his concern, telling you people that, these children are his children.

“He also promised that he would do his best by working with the Federal Government and the security agencies to rescue the children. In the mercy of God, what the Governor promised has happened.

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“The Governor himself would have loved to be here himself today, but he has gone to Abuja on an equally important assignment. But, he has said that he would not allow them go back to Kuriga until he comes back tomorrow (Thursday) to personally bid them farewell.

“By the grace of God, your children will be handed over to you tomorrow (Thursday)”

The elated parents prayed God to help the government to ensure the freedom of the school children.

One of the parents, Idris Abdullahi while responding, said, “Please, bear with me because of my voice. It is nothing but because I was in tears of joy. There is no doubt that only God knows what was going through our minds.

“First, we are expressing our gratitude to God Almighty who bestowed His mercy on us. There is nothing we are going to say to the Governor other than to thank and pray that Allah rewards him abundantly. We are praying that Allah will protect him, make him succeed in his tenure and get re-elected.

“We have started hearing that the Governor will stand by us and ensure that these our children complete their education up to university level. May Allah make it happen like that.

Another Parent, Dahiru Abdullahi said: “We are grateful to God that brought us a day like this. From the moment we got a voice message from Aminu Jubril Gwadabe that the children had been rescued and were on their way to Kaduna, at that time, we were together with the Village Head of Kuriga. We went out and informed the parents and it was like we had seen the children ourselves. From that moment, our joy knew no bounds because the news came just when the Governor brought palliative to us.

“So, we are grateful first to the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Governor of Kaduna, as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, General CG Musa and National Security Advisor, Nuhu Ribadu and others because they worked tirelessly to rescue the children.

“This is because in the history of abduction of school children, from Chibok to Yauri, to Kagara and other ones, that the children were rescued within 16 days like this one. So, we are grateful”.