Northwest Zone Governors Forum converged on Kaduna on Wednesday to review their security approaches in tackling the challenges of banditry, kidnapping and other crimes and resolved to shutdown schools in their states for 30 days.
A communique read by the Chairman of the Forum and Katsina state Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, after the closed door meeting with security chiefs at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, said the decision to close down the schools became imperative, in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease across the Northwest.
Governor Masari said the closure would take effect from Monday 23rd of March 2020, adding that the governors will meet with examination boards to discuss the schools closure.
They also advised the general public to avoid unnecessary gatherings, urging them as well to maintain good respiratory hygiene. Among the states to implement the closure is Kwara state, who was not represented at the meeting.
The Governors of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi, Zamfara, Deputy Governor of Kano state, Nasiru Gawuna and Governor Sani Bello of Niger state, whose state shares same security challenges as the bordering Northwest states, had met in Kaduna to review their security approaches to the common security challenges of banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling.
Addressing the opening of the meeting, Chairman of the Northwest Governor’s Forum and Governor of Katsina state, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, said while the region had succeeded in fighting cattle rustling, new challenges of kidnapping and banditry have emerged. He said the meeting planned to arrest the situation, lamenting that, the acts of banditry and unwanted destruction of lives and property in the region and the nation were worrisome.
According to Masari, “we were able to achieve certain level of success with regards to cattle rustling, but over time, the criminality has developed into kidnapping, banditry and unwanted and unwarranted criminal activities within our states.
“So, we thought it is wise we should come to Kaduna the old headquarters of Northern Nigeria to review what has been done. We are here to address Northwest and Niger state and also review what had happen and the next step to be taken as governors and security chiefs, who are saddle with the responsibility of protecting life’s and properties of the people.”