… And Kano Govt. orders immediate closure of 12 boarding schools over Insecurity***
…Northern Governors Forum, Senate President condemn abduction of Zamfara school girls***
Education in the North may have become the first casualty of bandits attacks and kidnappings of students as Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has closed down all boarding schools in the state to prevent further insurgents’ activities against students.
The Kano State Government also ordered the immediate closure of 12 out of the over 50 boarding schools in the state to ensure the safety of the students.
Matawalle made the announcement in a statewide broadcast on Friday in Gusau.
The governor said that the decision was sequel to the abduction of 317 students of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of the state by gunmen in the early hours of Friday.
“Myself, and the entire state government and the citizens are deeply touched by this development which is the abduction of students from their school and this is the first of its kind in the state.
“Already, we are currently partnering with security agents and trailing all the suspected bandits’ routes,” he said
According to him, this is in addition to helicopters that the state government chartered to carryout aerial surveillance of the bushes for possible detection of the whereabouts of the students.
“I want to assure the parents of the victims that we are doing everything possible to rescue the victims and reunite them with their families.
“This is indeed not the time to trade blames but we need to come together regardless of our political differences to save these our children,” the governor pleaded.
He said that 65 of the students had returned to the school.
In a related development, the Kano State Government has ordered the immediate closure of 12 out of the over 50 boarding schools in the state to ensure the safety of the students.
Malam Muhammad Kiru, the state Commissioner for Education, confirmed this to newsmen on Friday in Kano.
According to him, the decision to close the schools followed the recent kidnapping of some female boarding school students in Niger and Zamfara States.
He said: “It was necessary for the Kano State Government to take proactive measures to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in our schools.
“As you know, the state government always takes proactive measures on issues related to security, especially that it affects students.
“Therefore, we are appealing to parents and guardians to immediately vacate their children from the schools, as the government will later announce the resumption day.
“The affected schools include boarding Secondary School Ajingi; Government Girls boarding School Sumaila; Government Girls boarding School Jogana, and Government Girls boarding School Gezawa.
“Others include Government Boys boarding School Kafin Maiyaki; Maitama Sule boarding School Gaya; Government Girls boarding School Kachako.
“And also Government Girls boarding School Unguwan Gyartai in Kunchi; Boys Unity School Karaye; Government Girls Arabic School in Albasu; Government Secondary School Tudun Wada and also that of Danzabuwa.”
According to the commissioner, most of these schools are located along borders with neighbouring states, while some are along highways where they can be easily attacked.
In the meantime, both the Northern Governors Forum and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan have condemned Friday’s abduction of over 300 school girls in Jangebe, Zamfara.
The Chairman of the Forum and governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, said in a statement issued in Jos on Friday by the governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, stressing that the spate of abductions in schools in the region was grossly unacceptable.
He said strong measures must be taken to put an end to the menace before it escalated into a monster that would inhibit educational pursuits and national aspirations.
Lalong expressed concerns that the new development was coming when the abduction of school children in Kagara, Niger State, was still being addressed, saying the pattern called for serious concerns among all Nigerians.
“As northern governors, we are deeply saddened by these embarrassing and unfortunate attacks on our children who are in schools to seek knowledge and build capacity to impact positively on the nation and to create a better society.
“The assault on schools where innocent and harmless students are targeted should not be condoned in any way because it has the tendency to set the nation back to ignorance and more poverty.
“The northern part of the country in particular is more educationally disadvantaged and cannot afford to have these disruptions. Enough is enough,’’ he said.
The governor empathised with the families of the abducted school children, the people and the government of Zamfara, assuring them of the support of the Forum in tackling the problem.
Speaking in the same vein, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has condemned the attack on Friday on Government Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State, where hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted.
Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media Ola Awoniyi in Abuja expressed sadness and outrage over the abduction.
He said the incident happened while efforts were still being made to rescue those abducted a week ago at another secondary school in Kagara, Niger State.
The Senate President said the recurrent attacks on schools and other acts of banditry call for intense soul searching on how the nation arrived at this sorry pass and how to cage the monster of violent crimes in Nigeria.