Sola Ojo, Kaduna
TO check Coronavirus pandemic from the Northwest geo-political zone, governors rose from a one-day meeting, iin Kaduna, yesterday and agreed to shutdown schools in their states for 30 days
The meeting also reviewed security approaches in tackling the challenges of banditry, kidnapping and other crimes.
Chairman of the forum and Katsina governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who read the communique said the decision to shut down the schools became necessary in order to prevent the spread of the diease in the zone.
He said the closure would take effect from Monday next week, adding that, the governors will meet with examination boards to discuss the schools closure before the stipulated date.
The governors also advised the 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.
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.
All the governors were in attendance except Abdullahi Ganduje who delegated his deputy, Hafizu Abubakar.
Niger State is not in the zone, but was included because it shares border with the Northwest, which has similar security challenges.
Masari, while declaring the meeting open earlier, lamented that, 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.
“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 lives and properties of the people”, he added.