Following the abduction of about 300 female students from Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) in Jangebe, Zamfara, the State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has directed the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools, to prevent another abduction across the state.
Matawalle added that the state government has beefed up security across the schools that were not affected by the new development, even as efforts were been intensified to secure release of the abducted students in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of the state.
The governor, in a state broadcast on Friday, disclosed that law enforcement officers have been deployed to the area to carry out a search and rescue operation for the female students held by bandits.
He noted that the ongoing search and rescue operation cannot singularly end the fight against banditry in the state, appealing that Federal Government supports all strategies introduced to end the insecurity challenges in the state.
“As we are making efforts to strengthen security around our schools, I have directed the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools across the State.
“Currently, police helicopters and other search and rescue operatives have been deployed to the area. Members of the public, and most especially the parents and guardians, would be kept informed of developments with regard to this all-important mission.
“While we remain appreciative of the efforts by the Federal Government in the fight against banditry and other criminal activities in the State, I wish to appeal for more support towards combatting this challenge, most especially with the new trend the challenge is assuming”, the governor added.
He noted that the current challenges do not require that all stakeholders began passing the buck but could be defeated when everyone unites, saying, politics, or any other difference should not stand in the way of the fight against insecurity.
“The fundamental objective of governance is to secure the lives and property of the governed. My administration will never relent in the pursuance of this fundamental objective”.
The governor also appealed to parents and guardians of the abductees to exercise more patience and continue to pray for a successful rescue mission.
Matawalle, meanwhile, stressed that the schoolgirls’ abduction would not stop the ongoing disarmament of bandits and that the policy has kept the state safer before the school attack.
“Despite this seeming setback, my administration will ever remain focused on its strategy of disarmament. A single bullet in the hands of the non-state rogue elements could result in severe harm to the innocent.
“I am of the conviction that the large cache of assorted weapons recovered through the disarmament process has made Zamfara State safer despite the recent unfortunate incidents. The type of dangerous weapons recovered through the disarmament process would make the heart of any person of conscience cringe”.