Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.), has said that the rescue of 344 students of Government Science Secondary, Kankara in Katsina State by the military was a Christmas gift to Nigerians.
Recall that Bandits said to have been riding on motorbikes had invaded the secondary school over a week ago, abducting over 300 school boys.
Six days after the abduction, some ransoms had allegedly been paid to secure their release.
Magashi, in his Christmas and New Year message, also urged Nigerians to pray for the troops, who by reason of their call to duty, would not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones.
In a statement released by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadri, the minister said that the rescue was a Christmas gift to Nigerians.
“There is the need for peaceful co-existence, unity and peace especially as the country is fighting insurgency, banditry and kidnapping among other criminal tendencies.
“The season is the reason to turn to God in fervent prayer to crown the sacrifices of our fighting forces to attain maximum victory over the adversaries.”
“While giving kudos to the troops who by reason of their call to duty, will not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones, the minister assured them that the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, will not allow their sacrifices to go unrewarded.
“Magashi therefore noted that the least appreciation Nigerians can show to the nation’s soldiers who are fighting patriotically so that the citizens can sleep with their eyes closed, even when they themselves can’t afford to sleep, is to pray for them and be security conscious at this auspicious time.
“He thanked the leadership of the services and heads of security agencies and their civilian counterparts for the rescue and return of the kidnapped students in Kankara, Katsina State.
“He described the operation that culminated in bringing back the kidnapped children as unprecedented in denying the kidnappers freedom of action, saying that such victory over the adversaries is the most beautiful Christmas and New Year special gift to the nation,” he said.