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Kuriga: AANI celebrates safe return of School Children

The Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) has conveyed its “heartfelt” jubilation and congratulations to all Nigerians over the swift and successful rescue of the Kuriga school children from the clutches of bandits.

A statement signed by Amb. Emmanuel Obi Okafor, mni, AANI National President said Sunday, “We are profoundly grateful to all those who played pivotal roles in ensuring the safe return of these innocent children, marking a beacon of hope amidst the shadows of terror that have plagued our nation in recent times.

“We particularly commend the unwavering dedication and leadership exhibited by His Excellency, President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, whose decisive actions and directives paved the way for this triumphant rescue operation. Additionally, we express our appreciation to the Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, whose steadfast commitment to the safety and well-being of his constituents has been quite exemplary.

AANI also said, “We note and appreciate the tremendous role of the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu mni, in facilitating this commendable feat. Our sincere gratitude to the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and security forces, deployed in the northwestern of the country, whose bravery and determination in executing the rescue mission underscore their unwavering resolve to protect our citizens and defend our nation’s integrity.

The statement added, “The safe return of the Kuriga school children stands as a testament to the efficacy of proactive governance and the prioritisation of the safety and security of our people. It is a stark departure from the tragic events of the past, notably the abduction of the Chibok school girls in 2014, reminding us that progress is indeed possible when leadership is resolute in its duty to safeguard its citizens. We call on all those in authority to be more proactive and decisive in a bid to make Nigeria better.

Continuing, AANI said, “While we celebrate this significant victory, we must however remain more vigilant and resolute in our efforts to prevent such atrocities from occurring again. Consequently, AANI urges the government at all levels, and security agencies to implement the Safe School Initiative and robust measures aimed at fortifying our schools and communities against the scourge of banditry, kidnapping and other criminalities. AANI strongly believes that every child deserves the fundamental right to education in a safe and secure environment, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure that this right is upheld without compromise.

“Furthermore, we call upon the government to expedite efforts to secure the release of all individuals held in captivity by terrorists and bandits since 2014. The scourge of banditry kidnapping and other forms of insecurities must be decisively tackled to restore peace and stability to our beloved nation.

“We would like to reiterate our deepest gratitude to all those who played a role in securing the release of these children, including the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Kaduna State Government, local law enforcement agencies, intelligence officers, negotiators, and medical personnel. Your courage, professionalism, and unwavering commitment brought these children home safely. We also recognise the bravery of the schoolchildren themselves, who faced this terrifying experience with resilience. Our thoughts are with them and their families as they recover from this ordeal. Everything humanly possible should be done to ensure their well-being and ease the trauma induced by the sad experience in captivity.”

It will be recalled that AANI recently cautioned against the increasing insecurity in the country.

It said, “We should underscore the need for the Government at all levels, to undertake a vulnerability assessment of all schools especially those in remote areas to ensure that such incidents will not occur again, as the security authorities including the traditional leadership will be held accountable in the future.

“AANI stands ready to collaborate with governments, agencies, and all stakeholders committed to forging a safer, more secure Nigeria and developing effective strategies to safeguard our schools and protect our future generations. Together, we can overcome the challenges that beset us and build a future where every citizen can thrive without fear or apprehension.