The bandits have initiated talks about the safe return of the students.⁣

The Katsina State government says it is in talks with gunmen who attacked a school in Katsina last week and kidnapped scores of students.⁣
600 students were immediately unaccounted for after the gunmen attacked Government Science Secondary School, Kankara on Friday, December 11, 2020.⁣

Even though the government announced that the camp of the kidnappers was surrounded by security agents days ago, many of the students are yet to return.⁣

Katsina governor, Aminu Masari, said on Sunday, December 13 that 333 of the students remained unaccounted for, as fears grew that many of them were kidnapped by the gunmen.⁣

While briefing President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina on Monday, December 14, Masari said the bandits have initiated talks about the safe return of the students.⁣

The governor also reiterated to the president that security agencies have located the position of the students, according to a statement by presidency spokesperson, Garba Shehu.⁣

“We are making progress and the outlook is positive,” Masari said.⁣

Spokesperson of the Defense Headquarters, Major-General John Enenche, during an interview on Channels Television late on Monday said there was hope for the safe return of the students.⁣

He said the military is on top of the situation while the negotiations between the kidnappers and the government take place.⁣

“All actions are on the table to ensure that we come to a meeting point,” he said.⁣

The abduction of the students is similar to the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno in 2014, and Dapchi, Yobe in 2018 by Boko Haram terrorists.⁣

While 112 of the Chibok girls remain with Boko Haram after six years, five of the Dapchi students died in custody of the terrorists before the others were returned after negotiations with the government.⁣