Governor El-Rufai says he withdrew his children from the public school over security concerns
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has withdrawn his children from a public school in the state and given a reason for his action.
The governor had enrolled his then six-year old son, Abubakar, at the Kaduna Capital School, a government-owned school, in September, 2019, claiming he took the step to promote confidence in public schools in the state.
But on Friday, Daily Trust newspaper exclusively reported that Mr El-Rufai had secretly withdrawn the boy from the school, drawing angry comments from residents of the state.
Reacting in an interview with BBC pidgin, published on Friday, the governor said he withdrew the child and his sister, Nesrin, whom he had later also enrolled in the school, over security concerns.
He said the two did not return to the school since the COVID-19 enforced break and are currently homeschooling.
“My son and my daughter are registered in the school because his sister Nesrin became six and we had to register her,” Mr El-Rufai said.
“But we have had to temporarily withdraw them for the security of the school because we got intercepts from at least two groups that are planning to attack the school to kidnap my son.
“I don’t think they will succeed because there will be enough security there to prevent it but other children may be placed in danger.
“We have no idea what weapons they will come with. I have taken a stand against paying bandits and at least three groups of bandits have been intercepted planning to go to Kaduna Capital School and kidnap my son and ‘see if they catch my son, I go say I no go pay ransom?”
However, Mr El-Rufai said his son will take his examinations at the school.
He also said their withdrawal from the school is temporary, vowing to keep them in public school for as long as he remains governor.
Kidnapping of school children for ransom is rampant in Northern Nigeria, including Kaduna State.
Early this year, bandits attacked a private university, GreenField, and kidnapped several students.
The bandits later killed some of the students and released the others 43 days later, following payment of ransoms by their parents.
The governor has repeatedly said he will not pay ransom to bandits.