Following the attack on Bethel Secondary School, Maramara in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where an unspecified numbers of students have been abducted, the Kaduna State Government has ordered the immediate closure of 13 schools located in areas that have been identified as vulnerable to attacks by bandits.
Umma Ahmed,Director-General of Quality Assurance Authority in the state Ministry of Education, gave the directive which was issued to proprietors of private schools. The closure is with immediate effect.
“You are hereby advised to adhere to the contents of this letter as appropriate sanctions shall be meted out to schools that are found wanting for non-compliance, please,” she said.
Ahmed listed the names of the affected schools to include Faith Academy, along Kachia Road adjacent to Jakaranda, Deeper Life Academy, Maraban Rido, ECWA Secondary school, Ungwar Maje and Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi.
Others are, St. Peters Minor Seminary, Katari, Prelude Secondary School, Kujama, Ibiso Secondary School, Tashar Iche, Tulip International (Boys) School and Tulip international (Girls) School.
Also on the list are, Goodnews Secondary School, St. Augustine, Kujama, Comprehensive Development Institution (CDI), Tudun Mare and Adventist College, Kujama
Kaduna has been experiencing series of attacks by bandits, with educational institutions considered as soft targets.
Monday’s attack was the fourth mass school kidnap in Kaduna state since December.
Bethel Baptist High School is a co-education college established by Baptist church in 1991 at Maramara village in Chikun district outside the state capital Kaduna.
Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in different Nigerian states since December last year. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some are still being held.
It was learnt that the gunmen stormed the school premises in the early hours of Monday, shooting sporadically as they abducted the students.
This is the fourth mass abduction in Kaduna in the last six months.
The breakdown of security in the entire Northern region of the country has led to a rise in the surge in kidnapping and banditry.
Meanwhile authorities in Kaduna State says 27 of the victims kidnapped from the School have been rescued.
Spokesman of the Police in the state Muhammed Jalige said the victims, 26 students, and a female teacher, were rescued after a joint team of the Nigeria Police, Army and Navy operatives, chased after the bandits after being informed of the attack.
Some witnesses said at least 100 students were kidnapped by the bandits but the police and school authorities have yet to give an official figure.
He said: “Rescue operation is still ongoing to ensure that all victims are safely returned. Officers involved in the said operation are charged to ensure no stone is left unturned with a view to successfully accomplish the rescue mission since resources will be availed to them without delay.”
He encouraged parents not to be deterred by the activities of bandits in the state, which has seen schools and learning institutions targeted.
This, he said, is because strategic measures will be put in place to forestall further occurrence of such dastardly acts of criminality against innocent children.
“The (Police) Command is saddened by the incident and calls on all stakeholders in security to unite, particularly at this very critical time, to safeguard schools in order to guarantee a safe and secured learning environment and other meaningful businesses,” he added.