By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Gombe State government has said it is building high-capacity school structures that can accommodate a large number of students to be located near security forces’ bases.
Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya announced this on Monday while addressing State House Correspondents after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The governor said his administration was building the super structures to reduce the abduction of school children in the state.
He also 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, the vigilantes, 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. We concentrated our effort in building big schools that will contain greater numbers to reduce the chances, such that wherever students or pupils are exposed to such risks, we bring them closer to the main security agencies to have peace and tranquility.
“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 had 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 Northeast because we share boundary with all the other five states of the zone. As a result of that, even the effect of insurgency, Boko Haram and issues about farmer-herder clashes, had 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. We thank God for that. We are very appreciative of the cooperation and understanding of our people,” he said.