bubakar El-Rufai, the seven-year-old son of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who was enrolled in 2019 at the Kaduna Capital School, has been absent from school for several weeks till now, according to findings by SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters learnt that the boys absence from the school is strongly linked to the rising abduction of schoolchildren in northern Nigerian schools by ravaging bandits, of which Kaduna State has had an ugly share, and still has yet-to-be-released abducted pupils.
SaharaReporters, after the visiting the school premises on Monday, established from pupils and teachers, who are presently in the first term, that young El-Rufai had not come to school since resumption, amidst the rising insecurity and threats to the lives of schoolchildren.
Our correspondent, who arrived at the school around 10am, did not see Abubakar till the school closed by 1pm and pupils started trooping home.
SaharaReporters also noticed some security lapses in the school, located on Isa Kaita Road, Ungwan Sarki area of the state, which may have contributed to the reasons why the young boy was no longer regarded to be safe on the premises.
On September 23, 2019, Governor El-Rufai had made a public show of his son’s enrolment in the school, saying he decided to enrol his son in a government primary school to lead by example and commit to the education sector in the state.
Abubakar is in Basic 2B at the Kaduna Capital School – a class of about 50 pupils before COVID-19 pandemic struck last year.
Schools started resuming in the state from February 1, 2021, after the pandemic-induced long break – the senior secondary school classes first and later primary school pupils on March 22.
Teachers, Pupils Confirm Young El-Rufai Absent From School Since Resumption
Some pupils and two teachers, who spoke with SaharaReporters, confirmed that the young El-Rufai had been absent from school since resumption.
“He does not come again. I have not seen him. I don’t know if he is still a pupil,” one of the pupils stated.
“His class is in this two-storey building, which is for the primary school. But he has not come since we resumed,” another pupil noted.
“You know the security situation around public schools in the state; he may have been withdrawn by his parents to prevent any embarrassing situation of abductions or bandits’ attacks,” a teacher noted.
“His parents may have enrolled him in another school or who knows, he may still be back, perhaps after the schools are safer. The governor has a strong stance against bandits – he is not willing to be seen to be paying ransom. So he would have assessed the situation and concluded that he has to protect his son from any occurrence,” another teacher stated.