Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has confirmed that he withdrew his son, Abubakar Al-Sadiq El-Rufai, from a public school in the state.
There had been reports that the Governor secretly withdrew his son from Kaduna Capital school – one of the oldest public schools in northern Nigeria due to fears of bandits attack and possible kidnap.
Society gazette recalls that El-Rufai back in 2019, enrolled his six-year-old son in Kaduna Capital School in fulfillment of his campaign promise.
But the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the governor, Muyiwa Adekeye denied comments when Daily Trust sought a clarification on the withdrawal.
However, Governor El-Rufai in an interview with BBC Pidgin, has now confirmed that he was forced to withdraw his son from the public school based on security challenges.
The Governor added that he also withdrew his daughter, Nesrin from the school after bandits threatened to attack the school.
He added that he took the step based on the recommendation of security agents.
“My son and my daughter are registered in the school because his sister became six and we had to register her.
“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?’” the governor said.
He assured that his decision was not a backtrack on his promise to the people of Kaduna but purely to keep other children in the school safe as the criminals had made the school a high-profile target because his children were attending the school.
“We believe in leading by example, we believe in whatever policy we propose that will affect people negatively, we start imposing it on us,” he said.
The governor said however that his son is still registered with the school and goes to take his exams, adding that he has not been registered in another school but is being home-schooled.
He assured that when the security risk averted, the children will return to the school.
“It is my intention that my children will be in public school as long as I am governor here.
“Of course, when I finish my term, I will move out. I intend to leave Kaduna when I finish. I am not going to stay here. I may explore other options of putting them in other schools,” he said.
He added that the son keeps asking when he would go back to school misses the school environment.
“He keeps asking, ‘Baba, when will I go back to school, I miss my friends, I miss my teachers’ I told him not yet, you can’t tell a seven-year-old you are likely to be kidnapped,” El-Rufai said.