Nigeria: Governor El-Rufai Suspends Kaduna Schools Resumption Indefinitely

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Governor El-Rufai says this is to allow the military conclude an operation to flush bandits out of the state

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has announced an indefinite suspension of resumption of schools in the state over the activities of bandits.

The governor made the announcement at a stakeholders' meeting on Monday in Kaduna.

Mr El-Rufai said the government took the decision due to ongoing military operations in most parts of the state.

The meeting was attended by members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), as well as professional and community-based associations in the state.

Mr El-Rufai said the military had deployed more troops to Kaduna to flush bandits out from their hideouts across the state.

"The military has deployed more troops to the state for the operation and warned residents to be vigilant and mindful of unknown faces in their midst.

He said the government was committed to protecting vulnerable children from attacks by bandits feeling from the superior firepower of the military in the operation going on.

Speaking at the meeting, the state chairperson of the NMA, Aliyu Sokomba, urged the Federal Government to license the use of firearms for profiled citizens.

Mr Sokomba said such would enable the people to protect themselves from attack by bandits since the security forces cannot be everywhere.

He said licensing firearms for citizens has become expedient due to the constant kidnapping citizens, including health workers.

Kaduna schools

Kaduna schools are behind schedule in the academic calender compared with schools in other states in Nigeria.

The schools were expected to resume for third term in the first week of August, before the announcement of the indefinite postponement by the governor.

When the schools reopen, it will be for third term while the first term of a new academic year would already be underway in other states and the FCT.

However, a teacher in Kaduna, Mohammad Hassana, while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES reporter, said security should be the uppermost consideration.

"Although our children will not be happy and also parents, it is better to ensure the safety of the children than rush them to school and your mind will not be at peace.

"We will wait and pray this time around we get it right not only in Kaduna but all over the Northern states," she said.

Another teacher, Peter Sambo, said neighbouring states should join Kaduna in the offensive against the bandits.

"Kaduna is bordered by states that are suffering from the same problem, so the flushing should be all over," he said.

Kaduna state has witnessed multiple kidnappings of school children by bandits in recent times.

About 83 students of Bethel Baptist School are still in the captivity of bandits.

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