Katsina kidnap survivors recount ordeal, escape stories
Some survivors of the Government Science School in Dankara, Katsina State, have explained how they survived the abduction carried out by gunmen.
On Friday, gunmen on motorcycles stormed the Government Science School in Kankara late and engaged security forces in a gun battle, forcing hundreds of students to flee and hide in surrounding bushes and forest.
“There were a total of 520 of us that were taken by the gunmen from the school,” Osama Aminu Maale told AFP.
“After they took us away we stopped inside the bus where they made the older students take a headcount. We counted 520,” he said, adding that the hostages were split into groups before Maale and four others escaped.
“One of the gunmen hit me repeatedly when I failed to keep up with the rest of the group due to my failing health before he let me trail behind, giving me the chance to escape,” he said.
Maale’s claims corroborated that of another survivor interviewed by BBC Hausa.
The survivor, whose name was not mentioned, said they were 520 when they were ordered to count themselves by the gunmen.
“We kept walking in the bush, we were being pushed and beaten, we spent the night walking, 30 minutes before dawn we were told to go to bed and rest,” he told BBC Hausa.
The student said he managed to escape “after they sat us down I leaned back a little. I found the side of a tree and I turned my back on them. I lay down and straightened my legs.”
“After everyone left, I came crawling and looking until I entered the city,” he said.
It is still unclear how many of the kidnapped students could not escape the abduction. But on Sunday, the state governor, Aminu Masari said more than 300 children are still held in captivity by bandits.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu told the BBC that many children had fled, saying only 10 children had been left in the hands of the gunmen based on the testimonies of some students who escaped from their abductors. Shehu, however, said that number “still needed to be verified.”
Garba said forests and neighboring villages are being searched and parents are being contacted for information about their children.