Kastina state governor, Aminu Masari, on Wednesday, stated that the Kastina, Kankara were alive and currently in a forest in Zamfara State.
Masari, who made this remark in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, said, “They (kidnapped schoolboys) are in Zamfara forests, we have got the information.”
Also speaking during an interview with Channels Television, the governor said efforts were on to ensure that the students returned home safely, adding that discussions were on with the suspected abductors through Miyetti Allah, to ensure the students’ release.
He denied the claim by Boko Haram that it was behind the abduction, insisting local bandits roaming Katsina and Zamfara forests were responsible for it (the abduction).
He said, “It is not true that two students died. I was in school on Saturday and interacted with some of the students who escaped. They did not say any student died.
“I also interacted with the two students who also escaped later; they did not tell me any of the abducted students died or were killed. The news of the death was speculative. The number of students we have yet to account for is 334, although some students have gone to their parents directly.
“We are discussing through the leadership of MACABAN, Miyetti Allah, with those suspected to have carried out the abduction, and I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and heads of security agencies two or three hours ago.”
The governor pointed out that his administration would not pay ransom for the release of the students.
Reacting to the abduction of 333 students, Arewa socio-cultural organisation under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Groups said it would on Thursday storm Katsina State to kick off agitation for the freedom of 333 students of Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.
The protesters, who are to be led by the chairman, Board of Trustees of CNG, Nastura Ashir Shariff, will join other members from Jigawa, Kano and Katsina states to compel government to act fast.
The spokesperson for the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said these in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘CNG storms Katsina, to kick off #Bringbackourboys protests Thursday’.
But residents of the state on Wednesday opposed the planned protest, saying efforts should be concentrated on how to rescue the students.
The CNG spokesman, in his statement, said, “The exercise, harsh tagged #Bringbackourboys, which will kick off in Katsina on Thursday, is expected to proceed to Daura to register the current concerns with Mr President.
“Led by its Board of Trustees Chairman Nastura Ashir Shariff, the CNG is already in touch with parents of the stolen schoolchildren and assured them of support through this trial moment.
“It will be unreasonable to expect any northerner and well meaning Nigerians to fold their arms and watch the North, a significant component of the country, abandoned to the mercy of bandits, murderers and kidnappers.
“The police in Katsina are seen in a massive reinforcement around the state which calls for caution on the part of authorities against attempts at suppressing legitimate protests that will be conducted peacefully.”