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Niger Shuts All Public Secondary Schools

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Niger State government has ordered the closure of all public secondary schools in the state for two weeks.

This decision was reached after an interface between the state government and officials from various security agencies in the State.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, disclosed this on Thursday.

She said the schools will, however, be closed from Friday, March 12th to Friday, March 26th, 2021.

The education ministry had earlier had an emergency consultative meeting with the leadership of Association of the Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS), Executive Chairman, Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), heads of education agencies and other stakeholders of the education sector in the State.

Though 22 secondary schools (11 Day and 11 Boarding Schools) have earlier been closed, she said the two weeks closure of all secondary schools was necessary 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, she added.

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.

Attacks on schools

Niger State is gradually becoming a hot spot for bandits’ attacks and schools are the main target.

Bandits attacked a school in Kagara in February.

Governor Sani Bello,  said 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their families were abducted.

The school has a population of over 1,000 students.

One of the students, Benjamin Doma, was gunned down while trying to escape.

The abductors reportedly left him behind in the pool of his blood as they shepherded the students and teachers to the bush.

The Kagara abduction was carried out less than three months after the kidnapping of over 300 students at Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in nearby Katsina State.

Schools shut in 4 LGAs

In the aftermath of the abduction, Governor Bello had ordered the immediate closure of all the boarding schools in four local government areas of Niger State.

The local government areas are Rafi, Munya, Mariga and Shiroro.

According to him, “We will not rest or sleep until we bring them back to their families.

“Tension is high and the situation is very serious.

“We are saddened by all this development. We have been having attacks before and we have been working to settle it but in these past few days, the attacks have been so daring that they caught our attention. We pray that God will show us the way of getting them back safely.”

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JUST IN: 15 Die In Niger Boat Mishap

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At least, 15 people have died in a boat mishap in Tijana, Munya Local Government Area of Niger State while several others are still missing.

The boat mishap occurred at about 6:00 pm on Saturday when the villagers were returning from a local market in Zumba, Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

The Sarkin Kasuwan (Head of the Market) of Zumba, Mallam Adamu Ahmed, who confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, said the local boat was carrying over 60 people, including women and children when it capsized due to a heavy windstorm.

Among the victims were some returnees who had earlier fled their homes with their children due to bandits’ attacks.

Ahmed said 17 people have been rescued alive through the efforts of local divers who swung into action immediately after the incident was reported.

The local divers had defied the heavy downpour to continue their rescue operation as at the time of filing this reports as no help yet from the government.

It could be recalled that a similar boat mishap in the area claimed 13 lives in 2017 when a boat carrying 30 people capsized midway into their journey to the same Zumba market.

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BREAKING: Abducted ABSU Student Regains Freedom

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The only student of Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, still left in the custody of a criminal gang, which abducted some persons while journeying along the Okigwe-Uturu Road, has been released.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu made this known this evening via his official Twitter handle@GovernorIkpeazu.

Governor Ikpeazu, who thanked God, security agencies and the management of ABSU for the release of the abducted student, expressed joy at the development and vowed that he will surely take justice to those involved in the kidnap and will not share the State with criminal elements.

His full tweet reads:

“It is with exceedingly great joy and a very pleasant sense of relief that I announce that the only kidnapped ABSU student who was still in the custody of the hoodlums that abducted some people a few days ago along the Okigwe-Uturu Road has been freed. I spoke with her and …her mother minutes ago and want to thank God, our security agents and the management of ABSU for a job well done leading to this good news.

“Our administration has since taken measures to strengthen the security around the area where the incident happened and even beyond it ensure the security of lives and property which remains my number one assignment as Governor and it is one duty I will never take lightly. We will surely take justice to those who abducted our student as we will not cohabit this state with criminals”.

DAILY POST gathered that the yet-to-be-confirmed number of students were kidnapped while transiting on a bus on Okigwe-Uturu Road.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the Abia State University, Professor O. M Ogbulu confirmed that two of the students escaped from the hoodlums while one student was still being held by them.

Addressing journalists in a press conference held in Umuahia, on Friday, Vice-Chancellor had assured that the school authority was working assiduously with security agencies to ensure the release of the students and prosecution of the culprits.

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Kogi Miyetti Allah Chairman Damina Regains Freedom

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The Chairman of the Kogi Chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Wakili Damina, who was allegedly kidnapped on Tuesday, has been released.

The state Secretary of the association, Mr Adamu Abubakar told newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday that Damina was released in Abuja late night of May 7.

Adamu said from Damina’s account, he was released by men suspected to be from one of the security agencies and not kidnappers as earlier suspected.

He said that Damina arrived at his Chikara home in the Kogi Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Saturday to reunite with his family.

Adamu had announced to newsmen in Lokoja on May 4, that Damina was taken away from his house by eight men dressed in military camouflage.

He said that the men forcefully took him away in a white bus.

He also said that all efforts to get across to him proved abortive as his telephone lines were switched off.

However, the secretary, said that the national body of the association had taken the matter up to ascertain why Damina whisked away in such a manner.

He also said that the group had instructed a lawyer to take the matter up.

Adamu then expressed the gratitude of the association to the state government, police, media and members of the public for their support and concern during the period.

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