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Insecurity: Northwest Nigeria State Govt Shuts Down Boarding Schools

Secondary schools in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria, have been closed for a week to assess the security situation.

The Sokoto State Government has ordered boarding schools’ closure outside the Sokoto metropolis over Nigeria’s Northwest region’s rising insecurity.

Sa’idu Umar, Secretary to the State Government, disclosed after the state Security Council meeting held at the Government House, Sokoto, the state capital.

He said the decision was taken after the council was briefed on the security situation of the schools.

“After the briefing, the council deliberated on the issue based on the information available to them. Thereafter, the council unanimously agreed that all boarding schools outside Sokoto metropolis will be closed so as to avert any security breach that will embarrass the state, parents and the general public,” Umar said.

He added that the schools would be closed for a week to review the situation appropriately. 

Some of the schools exempted from the exercise include Sani Dingyadi Secondary School, Sokoto Science College, Sultan Abubakar College, A.A. Raji, Sheikh Gummi Memorial College, Hafsat Ahmadu Bello Girls College, Government T.C. Farfaru, Nagarta College and GTC Farfaru, all of which are in Sokoto metropolis. 

The remaining are two Almajiri schools at Dange Shuni and Wamakko local government.

Nigeria’s Northwestern states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Katsina have been a hotbed of terrorists’ attacks. Over the past few months, education facilities have been increasingly attacked in the region.

An analysis by HumAngle shows that between Dec. 11, 2020, to Feb. 26, over 741 students were abducted by criminal elements in the region. 

On Dec 11, an armed group attacked the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, abducting over 300 students.

Less than 72 hours after the abducted Kankara students were released, some armed men kidnapped 80 Islamic school students in Dandume, Katsina State.

Security forces swiftly rescued the pupils after a fierce gun battle.

In what seemed like the operational footprint of Boko Haram, some unknown gunmen, on Friday, Feb 26, stormed Jangebe Government Girls’ Secondary School, Zamfara State and kidnapped over 317 schoolgirls.

Analysts argued that the coordinated attacks on education facilities have a ripple effect on the statistics of out-of-school children in the country, especially in the Northwest, where the bulk of the children can be found.

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Abiodun Jamiu

Abiodun is an investigations reporter at HumAngle. His works focus on the intersection of public policy and development, conflict and humanitarian crisis, climate and environment. He was a 2022 Solution Journalism Fellow with Nigeria Health Watch under its Solution Journalism Africa initiative project.

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