Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, has apologised for saying only 10 students were abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
Shehu had told the BBC Hausa Service that only 10 boys were with the bandits while the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, said 333 students were abducted when gunmen on motorcycles attacked the school last Friday.
The abduction of the students took place some hours after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), arrived in Daura, Katsina for a week-long private visit.
Masari, however, announced on Thursday that 344 schoolboys were released by the bandits in Zamfara State, a number slightly higher than his initial statistic.
While Nigerians delight in the news of the released schoolboys, the presidential aide has, however, come under fire for allegedly trivialising the number of abducted students.
But Shehu, who said he was misled by persons who should know better, apologised to all Nigerians over his comment.
He tweeted, “I apologise for the incorrect communication citing that only 10 students were kidnapped at the science school, Kankara.
“This communication of numbers was provided by persons that should ideally know. These numbers were seen to conflict with what was available at that time.
“Please understand that this communication was in no way done to downplay the seriousness of the situation.
“Please accept my sincere apologies on this matter as we continue to move our great Nation Nigeria forward. Thank you.”