Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State has ordered the closure of all public secondary schools in the state for two weeks.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, disclosed this on Thursday after an interface between the State Government and officials from various security agencies in the state.
She said the schools will be closed from Friday, 12 March to Friday, 26 March 2021 to give relevant security agencies the time and opportunity to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of all public secondary schools.
The exercise, when completed, will provide an all-inclusive mechanism and strategies that will restore and guarantee sustainable security and safety of students, school infrastructure, education managers, and teachers in the State.
While commending education actors, parents, and communities for their patience, understanding, and support in this trying time, she reiterated the government’s commitment to leave no stone unturned and ensure that all schools are safe for effective teaching and learning.
Meanwhile, Bello has also revealed the ulterior motive of some repentant bandits, disclosing that they deceive the government into collecting money to buy more weapons for their operations.
He made the disclosure at a parley with a vigilante group at Mariga Local Government Area of the State on Wednesday, noting that bandits who give up their old ways would be offered a means of livelihood without financial backing.
According to Bello: “I am here to thank the vigilantes, boost their morale, and to offer more support from the state government so that they can continue to support the police and other security agencies in the fight against bandits and other criminal elements.
“Any bandit that surrenders his weapons and repents from his heinous way of living would be forgiven and provided with a means of livelihood which would not necessarily include any cash backing.
“From experience, it has been discovered that the repentant bandits, after collecting cash from the dialogue option, will purchase more weapons and return to their old ways of banditry.”
Niger State is gradually becoming a hot spot for bandits attacks and schools are the main target.
Several kidnap operations have occurred in the last few months.