Banditry: Kaduna Govt suspends schools resumption indefinitely

…As another Kaduna traditional ruler is  kidnapped

The Kaduna State government has suspended the resumption of schools across local governments of the state until further notice.

Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting yesterday, the State governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i, stated that the government took the decision due to the ongoing aggressive military operation against bandits in most parts of the State.

He informed the meeting attended by members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), as well as professional and community-based associations that the operation was aimed at flushing the bandits out from their hideouts.

Governor el-Rufa’i added that the government was committed to protecting vulnerable children from being attacked by fleeing bandits, who he said were already feeling the superior firepower of the military.

He revealed that the military has deployed more troops to the State for the operation and warned the residents to be vigilant and mindful of unknown faces in their midst, saying fleeing bandits might infiltrate their communities.

In his remarks, NMA Chairman in Kaduna, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, urged the Federal Government to licence the use of firearms for profiled citizens.

He stated that this was necessary to enable the people to protect themselves from being attacked by bandits since the security forces cannot be everywhere.

A gender-based activist, Asma Mirza, who was also present at the meeting, stressed the need to deploy technology to the various flashpoints, including the forests and highways.

Kidnapping and banditry have become fast-growing organised crimes in Kaduna and some parts of the North-West region – posing a major security threat for the people. Hardly will a week pass by without sad stories of abduction of innocent citizens, including children, young, and old people by the marauding bandits.

Amid tension, in which farmers have been forced to abandon their farms, some secondary schools and a tertiary institution were attacked by bandits recently in Kaduna. But some of the schools have employed local vigilantes armed with local weapons – an action that has often proved ineffective against the heavily armed bandits.

In a related development, the paramount ruler of Jaba kingdom in Kaduna State, Kpop Ham, has been kidnapped in his farm in Nasarawa State.

The traditional ruler was reportedly kidnapped yesterday, but details of the incident were hazy at the time of this report.

The State’s Police Command spokesperson, Muhammed Jalige,  told newsmen that they were in contact with their counterparts in Nasarawa State on the matter; however, he said he was yet to receive an official statement concerning the incident.

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