The Nation (Nigeria)

Kidnapping: Gombe to house students in super schools near security agencies

- From Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

THE Gombe State government has said it is building high-capacity school structures that can accommodat­e a large number of students to be located near security forces' bases.

Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya announced this yesterday while addressing State House Correspond­ents after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidenti­al Villa in Abuja.

The governor said his administra­tion was building the super structures to reduce the abduction of school children in the state.

He also said his administra­tion took certain decisions after a kidnap vulnerabil­ity assessment, coming up with proactive measures to safeguard all schools in the state.

“We did a vulnerabil­ity assessment of all the schools and we assigned the local security personnel, the vigilantes, to work with the convention­al organised security in order to safeguard our schools against attacks.

“Above all, what we did for a wider security is reflected in the schools. We concentrat­ed our effort in building big schools that will contain greater numbers to reduce the chances, such that wherever students or pupils are exposed to such risks, we bring them closer to the main security agencies to have peace and tranquilit­y.

“That has succeeded in bringing peace to our schools. So, the schools and the wider society are safe in Gombe. We thank God for that," he said.

Yahaya affirmed that the collaborat­ion with religious and community leaders and other stakeholde­rs had helped to ameliorate security challenges in the state.

According to him, though the peculiar location of the state makes it vulnerable, security agencies have been working hard and the cooperatio­n of communitie­s has been wonderful.

“We are really located in the midst of the Northeast because we share boundary with all the other five states of the zone. As a result of that, even the effect of insurgency, Boko Haram and issues about farmer-herder clashes, had caused some security challenges in Gombe in the past.

“But we have been proactive and we are following up day by day all institutio­ns affected, for example, the traditiona­l rulers, community leaders and the security agencies, trying to build a mutual understand­ing and good relationsh­ip between our people.

“I can say that compared to the rest, Gombe is relatively peaceful. We thank God for that. We are very appreciati­ve of the cooperatio­n and understand­ing of our people," he said.

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