Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, on Wednesday ordered the immediate closure of primary and secondary schools in the state following the abduction of a yet-to-be ascertained the number of students in the state.
The Zamfara State Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkana, conveyed the governor’s directive while addressing journalists on the new security measures in the state.
“I wish to inform the general public that His Excellency the executive governor of Zamfara State has ordered the closure of all schools within the state, both primary and secondary schools that are existing here are now closed with immediate effect,” the Commissioner said.
The Zamfara State Government’s decision is indefinite, the commissioner added during the briefing in Gusau.
“It’s a threat, you know the bandits will like to go back to kidnap these students, so for their safety the schools have to be closed until peace is restored in the state.”
When asked how many students were abducted, the commissioner of police said, “I don’t know.”
The government also restricted movement – from 6pm to 6am- in 13 local government areas. But for Gusau, the capital, movement restriction will be from 8pm to 6am.
Gunmen had stormed the Kaya Day Secondary School in Maradun Local Government Area of the state and whisked away several students.
The latest kidnap is happening five days after the students of the College Of Agriculture and Animal Science Bakura earlier abducted in the state regained their freedom
Zamfara, just like other states in the northwest and north-central have been facing serious security challenges by bandits – believed to hole up in Rugu forest, which straddles Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara and Niger states – to increasingly attacking schools, seizing students to extort ransom from parents.
Kidnappings are just one of the challenges facing Nigeria’s security forces, who are battling a grinding Islamist insurgency in the northeast and separatist tensions in parts of the south.
According to the UN, some 950 students have been kidnapped across Nigeria since December.
While most of the hostages have been released after negotiations, some are still being held.