States clamor for cops as bandits shift tactics and target schools.
As fears of bandit attacks grow, North-West states are grappling with a shortage of security officers to staff schools. It was discovered that increased insecurity was having a negative impact on the states’ education systems, with many of them closing some schools.
Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, and Sokoto are among the states where bandit attacks have resulted in the closure or decrease of facilities.We also learnt that the bandits have adopted a new strategy of attacking schools in huge numbers in order to overwhelm security guards.
Remember that attacks on schools have been ongoing in Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, and Katsina states 136 students were recently kidnapped from an Islamic school in Tegina, a heavily populated town in Niger State’s Rafi LGA.
Bandits overcame 22 police officers stationed at the Federal Government College in Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, on Thursday, abducting hundreds of students and four teachers. “From all indications, the bandits have sources within communities,” a top security official in Zamfara State said. They keep an eye on schools and make sure that their number equals or exceeds the number of police officers stationed there.”
The Zamfara State Government stated on Sunday that it could not successfully secure schools without the Federal Government’s help.
In a conversation with one of our correspondents, the Director-General of the Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Alhaji Yusuf Idris, declared that security was under the control of the Federal Government.
He went on to say that the security agents assigned to the state’s junior and senior secondary schools were insufficient.
“This is beyond the capacity of the state government because, as you are aware, only the Federal Government controls the security personnel,” Idris stated when asked if the state government could properly secure the schools. One of our key issues is an insufficient number of security personnel.”
Idris claimed that the state administration has not reversed its intention to turn all of the state’s boarding institutions into day schools. “The state government has suspended the residential school system,” he said. Students can attend classes during the day and return home after school hours. Because it is now evident that abductors prefer to carry out their horrible acts at night, the state government has outlawed boarding schools.
Idris further stated that the state government has dispatched security officers to schools that have been identified as potential targets for bandit assaults.
It was discovered that 130 junior secondary schools had been closed in villages that had been deserted owing to bandit attacks.
Despite the fact that the Katsina State Government was working with security agents, it was discovered that the number of security agents available was insufficient to protect the state’s 340 secondary schools.
“There has been cooperation between the state administration and security agents,” a top state official stated, “but there is no way enough policemen can be stationed to the schools when occasionally 100 bandits with AK47s can raid a school.”
“Can we post 100 officers to a single school with the number of cops we have in the country?” I’m hoping the bandits’ mania will come to an end.”
“I always travel around the state because of the nature of my job,” an official said, “and from what I’ve observed, we don’t have enough security staff to appropriately take care of our schools.”
“What I propose is vigilance and collaboration with ward and opinion leaders who are very close to people in their neighborhoods in order to obtain actual intelligence about these criminals’ movements so that authorities may be informed on time.”
“The existing number of security personnel in the state, whether from the Nigerian Army or the police, is insufficient to address the security situation in the state,” another high government official said. Security officers are already overworked, but they are unable to express their dissatisfaction publicly. As a result, I will lobby for more security professionals to be hired and deployed in the state.”
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