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Bandits invade Edo School, kidnap students, teacher, as Niger State closes all public schools over abductions

  • Bandits kill policeman, set Police station ablaze in Benue State,

The Nigeria Police on Thursday confirmed that bandits invaded the National Institute of Construction Technology and Management in Uromi, Edo State, kidnapping two students and a teacher.

The Edo State Police Command Spokesperson, Kontongs Bello, said that “I also heard about the incident since yesterday night. It is true there was kidnapping and the Police are on the trail of the kidnappers who are fully armed.”

This is just as the Niger State government has ordered the closure of all public Secondary Schools in the State for two weeks for fear of the increasing attacks on schools and abduction of students and teachers.

The decision was the outcome of the meeting between the State government and the various security agencies, with the State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, saying that the schools will, however, be closed from Friday, March 12th to Friday, March 26th, 2021.

Though 22 Secondary Schools (11 Day and 11 Boarding Schools) had earlier been closed, Salihu said the two weeks closure of all Secondary Schools was necessary to give relevant security agencies the time and opportunity to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment.

Niger State is increasingly becoming a major hotspot for bandits who target the abduction of students.

Last month, 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their families were abducted from the Government Science School, in Kagara.

In the aftermath of the abduction, Governor Sani Bello ordered the immediate closure of all the boarding schools in four Local Government Areas of Niger State, including Rafi, Munya, Mariga and Shiroro.

The Niger State government said that the closure of all Secondary Schools in the State, when completed, will provide an all-inclusive mechanism and strategies that will restore and guarantee sustainable security and safety of students, school infrastructure, education managers and teachers in the State.

The State Commissioner for Education, while commending education actors, parents and communities for their patience, understanding and support, reiterated the government’s commitment to leave no stone unturned and ensure that all schools are safe for effective teaching and learning.

In addition to the attacks on Edo State, the Police has confirmed that bandits, in the early hours of Thursday, killed a Police officer and burnt several houses including a Police station in Tse Harga community of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area in Benue State.

Sources said that the bandits in Benue stormed the rural community at about 4:00 am on Thursday and started shooting sporadically, setting ablaze several buildings and a Police station and pick-up van.

Also, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), in collaboration with the Police, killed one of the suspected bandits in a swift counter-response to the attack during which they recovered over 200 rounds of ammunition.

Force Commander OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, simply said when he was contacted that “we are in operation around that axis but I can’t comment further on an ongoing operation. You may wish to contact the Directorate of Defence Information, Defence Headquarters in Abuja, thanks.”

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, on her part, confirmed the killing of a Policeman in the affected area but that details of the attack were still sketchy.

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