by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Pandemonium ensued as armed bandits in facemasks reportedly invaded Government Secondary School located in a densely populated area of Ungwan Sarki, Kaduna main town in Kaduna State.
Popularly known as “black and white,” the Secondary School, located in the area of U/Sarki ward and family resident of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, was invaded where final year students were waiting for their National Examination Council of Nigeria (NECO) question papers on Friday morning of 23rd July, 2021.
The “Voice of Liberty” reported that the students and teachers scampered for safety for fear of being kidnapped by the gunmen during the invasion.
Confusion also ensued as motorists and pedestrians took to their heels through unusual routes to escape the gunmen, as many were loudly shouting “kidnappers,” “kidnappers!”
The gunmen, according the School Principal, Hajiya Bilkisu Aliyu, were said to have trailed the NECO Supervisor’s vehicle from a commercial bank along Alkali Road close to Murtala Square, where she collected the examination question papers and answer sheets to the school premises.
Suspecting to be money, the bandits gave her a hot chase and, on arrival in the school premises, demanded she handover the bulk of the wrapped papers to them, and threatened to shoot her.
Even though, she was trembling and shouting it was “not money,” the bandits snatched the papers and disappeared into the thin air, while the students and teachers also ran for their deer lives in different directions to escape from the scene.
When in the school, apprehensive parents, who got rumours of kidnapping of their children, trooped into the school. This put the School Principal in a herculean task of controlling and explaining to them the real situation.
Even though, the school is located in the middle of Kaduna metropolis, it lacks adequate security, as the perimeter fence is porous and can be accessed from different parts, while the main entrance gate is in bad shape.
Though, the School Principal declined comments on record, on grounds that she cannot speak without clearance from the state ministry of education, calls put through to the Commissioner of Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, were not answered and later rejected, and he never got back to Voice of Liberty.
Nevertheless, the NECO staffs mopped up papers from their office and other examination centers to ensure the examination went unhindered.
The school was said to have received a threat letter from kidnappers in the past, which led to its closure for sometimes before it was reopened for academic activities.