By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Gombe State government has said it is building high-capacity school structures close to security forces’ bases that can accommodate a large number of students.
This was disclosed to the State House Correspondents on Monday by the Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the governor, his administration is building the super-structures to reduce the risk of abduction of school children in his state.
Governor Yahaya said his administration took certain decisions after a kidnap vulnerability assessment, coming up with proactive measures to safeguard all schools in the state.
“We did a vulnerability assessment of all the schools and we assigned the local security personnel; vigilante, to work with the conventional organised security in order to safeguard our schools against attacks.
“Above all, what we did for a wider security is reflected in the schools and we concentrated our effort on building big schools that will contain greater numbers, to reduce the chances, such that wherever students or pupils are exposed to such risks, we brought them closer to the main security agencies, so as to have peace and tranquillity.
“That has succeeded in bringing peace to our schools, so the schools and the wider society are safe in Gombe. We thank God for that,” he said.
Yahaya affirmed that the collaboration with religious and community leaders and other stakeholders has helped to ameliorate security challenges in the state.
According to him, though the peculiar location of the state makes it vulnerable, security agencies have been working hard and the cooperation of communities has been wonderful.
“We are really located in the midst of the North-East, because we share a boundary with all the other five states of the zone and as a result of that, even the effect of insurgency, Boko Haram and issues to do with farmer-herder clashes have caused some security challenges in Gombe in the past.
“But we have been proactive and we are following up day by day all institutions affected, for example, the traditional rulers, community leaders and the security agencies, trying to build a mutual understanding and good relationship between our people.
“I can say that compared to the rest, Gombe is relatively peaceful and we thank God for that; we are very appreciative of the cooperation and understanding of our people,” he said.