AT least seven states in northern Nigeria have shut schools due to the rise in abductions and banditry in the last two months.

According to experts, the development may worsen the number of out of school children in Nigeria which UNICEF puts at 10.5 million.

This is apart from the school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The seven states are Yobe, Zamfara, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto.

It was learnt that while some of the states had shut only boarding schools, others shut all schools located in local government areas deemed volatile.

According to figures collated from several reports, at least 768 students have been abducted by bandits within the space of 78 days. The breakdown of the figure include 344 schoolchildren of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katisna on December 11, 2020; 80 pupils of Islamiyya School, Mahuta, Katsina on December 20, 2020; 27 boys at GSS College, Kangara, Niger State on February 17, 2021; and 317 schoolgirls of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State, last Thursday who are still in captivity.

Apart from the recent abductions, 112 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok, Borno State in 2014 are still in Boko Haram captivity as well as one pupil from Dapchi, Yobe State, Leah Sharibu.

Reports collated by our correspondent showed that Zamfara is the most affected with all its boarding schools shut till further notice. The Governor, Bello Matawalle, had in response to the abductions ordered the closure of all schools on Friday.

On Saturday, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State ordered that 10 schools located on the outskirts of the state be shut. On Sunday, Ganduje extended the order to five health training institutions in the state.

Details Later…

Source: PUNCH