Niger State governor orders closure of boarding schools over bandits attack


Niger State Governor Sani Bello has ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in four local council areas in the state after students and teachers were kidnapped from Government Science College (GSC) in Kagara.

Bello who spoke to newsmen in Minna said boarding schools in Rafi, Munya, Shiroro and Mariga local government areas will be closed indefinitely because of heightened insecurity.

No fewer than 27 Students, three staff and 12 members of a family were abducted in the Wednesday morning attack on Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi local government of Niger state. It was gathered that there were about 650 students in the school.

Bello said that the government will not pay ransom to the bandits stressing that it is not the policy of government to pay ransom as the bandits use the money to buy sophisticated weapons and cause further harm.

“It is not in our policy as a government to pay ransom to bandits because we have noticed that they use this money to buy arms and ammunition. However, the government will be ready to support and assist repentant bandits.”

He said that the government is concerned over the recent bandit attacks in the state which have now become more brazen and daring.

He asked for immediate intervention from the federal government to rescue the students and other abducted persons from the hands of the bandits.

“We are deeply concerned at these recent sad events and asking the federal government to deploy every necessary resources while we will look at all options, both kinetic and non-kinetic to ensure the safe return of the victims of both incidences.

“We will not rest or sleep until we bring them back to their families.”

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Gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed the Government Science College before hauling students into a nearby forest, a government official and a security source told AFP.

“Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” said the official, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

“One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official said.