From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor of Gombe State, Muhammad Yahaya has assured that his administration was taking measures to secure schools as well as the entire state to forestall attacks be kidnappers and other criminal elements.
According to him, the peculiar location of the State makes it vulnerable but security agencies have been working hard and the cooperation of communities has been wonderful.
He stressed that collaboration with religious and community leaders including other stakeholders has helped a lot in addressing security challenges in the State.
Yahaya made the disclosure on Monday, while speaking to State House Correspondents, after he met with the Chief of Staff to President, Ibrahim Gambari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Commenting on cases of kidnapping of students in some states, Yahaya disclosed that after a vulnerability assessment, proactive measures have been taken by the Gombe State government, to safeguard all schools in the State.
“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 a 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,” he said.
On the location of the state and the threats of insecurity, Yahaya said: “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, Boko 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.”