Following repeated attacks and killings by bandits in Plateau State, about eight schools have been shut down.
An investigation by news correspondents revealed that the schools shut down include the LEA Primary School in Pinau, Gumbi, Bangalala, and New Zak community, all in the Wase Local Government Area of the state.
Other schools shut down, according to findings, including those in Sanfio and Dogo Ruwa communities, as well as the primary school located in the Yaje Lawal community in the same Wase LGA, among others.
It is reported that bandits had been terrorizing residents of Wase LGA in the past months with the latest being an attack by gunmen on the Nyalun community which led to the killing of the village head, Salisu Idris, and two other residents last week.
Some parents in the affected communities, who spoke with newsmen in Jos on Sunday 23rd October 2022, lamented the situation, describing the closure of the schools as unfortunate.
A parent, Baba Yusuf, who had his two children in the LEA Primary School, Pinau community, before the school was shut down following the activities of bandits, said since the schools were closed, their children had been stranded without knowing where to go to continue their education.
“I have two children in LEA Primary School in Pinau, but they have stopped going to school because the school was closed as a result of insecurity. I think the primary school was closed to save the children from harm because some bandits have been terrorists us here. Yusuf said.
“It is not only in Pinau community, the same thing is happening in other communities in Wase which made them to close down the schools as well. Since last term when the schools were closed, they have not been reopened even when other schools resumed for a fresh term in September this year . So, right now that is the situation as we find it and our children are stranded without knowing where to go.”
The Executive Chairman of the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, Prof. Mathew Sule, in an interview also confirmed the shutting down of the schools due to insecurity.
“Yes, it is true. Learning isn’t taking place in about five schools in Wase communities right now because of the security challenge we are having in those communities.
“The children did not sit for exams the last term on account of what was happening because we had to close down the schools before we ended the third term and the affected schools are yet to be reopened. So, we are waiting for the situation to improve before the children can be brought back to the affected schools. But we have asked that the children be moved to safer areas where there are schools to enable them to continue with their education.”
When contacted, the spokesman for the Military Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, in charge of maintaining peace in the state, Capt. Oya James said everything was being done to address the security problem in Wase and other parts of the state.
“As I’m talking with you now, troops of Operation Safe Haven are still there in Wase for clearance operation. Even last week, we had an airstrike in that same Wase. So, we are doing our best to address this problem of banditry in Wase LGA.”
The Military spokesman appealed to the people to assist the task force and other security agents with timely information about the activities of the terrorists in enabling them to perform their duties.