All public and private primary, secondary, and tertiary schools in Niger State’s Wushishi Local Government Area have been closed due to a planned bandit raid.
According to the Daily Trust, the council’s Chairman, Danjuma Suleiman Nalango, who ordered the closure, said security agencies had intelligence that armed bandits were planning to attack Niger State Polytechnic and Government Girls Day Secondary School, both on the outskirts of Zungeru town.
According to Nalango, the decision was made to avoid a repeat of the incident in Tegina, where Islamiyyh students were kidnapped.
He said, “The decision to close the schools was as a result of banditry activities in the local government.
“The security agencies brought to my notice and even that of the governor that they have intercepted communication on a plan to abduct school children in my local government.
“And the communication they intercepted particularly pointed to Zungeru as the area of the planned attack.
“Although yesterday (Saturday), I was told that the kingpin had been arrested. The communication was highly classified. But they intercepted that communication and even the time that they were going to strike.
“So, it was duty-bound for us as representative of the people, we sat down myself in my capacity as the council chairman, the security agencies and we resolved that proactive measure should be taken before any damage is done.
“We wouldn’t want what happened in Tegina to repeat itself. So, we closed down even private schools. We know the inconveniences considering the importance of education, especially now that schools were about to write their promotion examinations. But having analysed that particular threat, we believed it was better for us to close the schools temporarily to allow security operatives to continue to conduct their operations because we don’t know when they will strike because they even said they will strike in the afternoon, about 300 of them will strike precisely at 4:00pm.
“For bandits to tell you that they will strike in broad daylight, that tells you the magnitude and the number at which they will enter Zungeru and overwhelm everybody. So, we are trying to avoid what happened in Tegina.”
Nalando further revealed that Zungeru had been threatened by bandits in recent times.
He said, “One of the incidents was the abduction of the Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry of Transport.”
He added that schools would be reopened if the security situation in the area improves.
The council boss also appealed to parents and school proprietors for understanding.