By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
In a bid to beef up security in schools, the Gombe State Government has deployed local security in all the institutions in the state to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies.
Already, the state has carried out vulnerability assessments to identify the schools that may be the primary targets of bandits and kidnappers.
The State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya disclosed this while fielding questions from State House correspondents, after meeting with Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Governor said that the collaboration among the state government, religious and community leaders including other stakeholders has helped in addressing security challenges in the State.
Asked about the efforts of the state to protect schools and students from attacks by kidnappers and bandits, the governor said:
“We did a vulnerability assessment of all the schools and we assigned the local security personnel; vigilante, to work with the conventional organized security in order to safeguard our schools against attacks.
“Above all, what we did for wider security is reflected in the schools and 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 brought them closer to the main security agencies, so as 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 and we thank God for that.”
The governor, who said that the government had taken proactive measures to safeguard the state, said the peculiar location of the State makes it vulnerable. He, however, said that security agencies have been working hard and the cooperation of communities has been wonderful.
According to him, “We are really located in the midst of the North-East because we share boundary with all the other five States of the zone and as a result of that, even the effect of insurgency, book 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.”