Defense Minister Major General Bashir Magashi (withdrawn) said the alleged military rescue of more than 300 high school students of the Kankara government in the state of Katsina is a Christmas present to Nigerians.
Magashi added that Nigerians should pray for troops who will not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families due to the call for duty and
Bandits, armed with weapons and riding a motorcycle, attacked the school two Fridays ago, abducting over 300 schoolchildren.
Boko Haram terrorists later claimed responsibility for the incident, before the boys were later rescued, six days after some ransoms were allegedly paid.
In his Christmas and New Year message, issued by Special Assistant Minister for Media and Promotion Mohammad Abdulkadri, the minister said the rescue was a Christmas present to Nigerians.
Magashi said, “Peaceful coexistence, unity and peace are needed, especially as the country fights rebellion, robbery and kidnapping among other criminal tendencies.
“Season is a reason to turn to God with fervent prayer to crown the victims of our fighting forces in order to achieve maximum victory over our opponents.”
He went on to say in a statement, “While paying tribute to troops who will not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones because of the call to duty, the minister assured them that the commander-in-chief, President Muhammad Bukhari, will not allow their victims to remain unrewarded.
“Magashi has therefore noted that the least gratitude Nigerians can show to national soldiers who fight patriotically so that citizens can sleep with their eyes closed, even when they cannot afford to sleep on their own, pray for them and be aware of safety at this opportune time.
“He thanked the leadership of the services and the heads of the security agencies and their civilian colleagues for rescuing and returning the abducted students in Kankar, Katsina state.
“He described an operation that culminated in the return of unprecedented abducted children by denying the kidnappers freedom of action, saying such a victory over opponents is the most beautiful special gift for Christmas and New Year to the nation.”