Despite police assurances that Abuja is secure, private schools in the Federal Capital Territory’s Bwari Area Council shut down their operations yesterday, fearing an attack by kidnappers.
Newswire learned that some schools hurriedly sent their students home when news got to them over 200 unidentified men suspected to be bandits were dropped by a truck in Sabon Wuse area of Niger State, a border town with Bwari, Abuja.
A source told Newswire that some private schools closed their schools with instructions to students to remain at home till further notice.
Some parents who do not want their identities revealed told our correspondent that the schools gave the instructions on a various group WhatsApp platforms of the schools.
Newswire gathered that in the last two weeks, over ten persons have been kidnapped in Bwari area council with ransom of about N10million paid to secure their release.
Last week, about seven persons were kidnapped in Sabon Fulani area of the council and about N5 million ransom was said to have been paid.
According to residents, the fear was heightened following the report that over 200 unknown persons were dropped from a truck in Sabon Wuse area.
As revealed by one of the parents, she spoke “We were asked to come for our children in their school before the time they were supposed to close for the day.
”I don’t know if they will be going to school tomorrow because we are still waiting for further directives from their school group WhatsApp platform”, the parent, who does not want her identity revealed said.
Another parent told Newswire that there was specific instruction for students to remain at home until further notice from the school authorities.
”My children came back home before the usual closing hour. When I enquired, the school said there were reports that kidnappers had surrounded Bwari area council and they (school authorities) do not want to be responsible for any kidnapped student, hence the closure of the school.
”As we speak, the school has been shut down indefinitely,” he said.
Some of the schools in Bwari area council that sent their students home yesterday for fear of possible attacks by kidnappers include De-Goopherwood Montessori School (close to Nigerian Law School), Glorious Bright School, Tundun Fulani and Asusi International School.
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A parent, who has children at Glorious Bright School said she got a call from the school management to come and pick their children before the normal closing hour for fear of attacks by kidnappers. Another parent who has children at De-Goopherwood Montessori School also confirmed that his children closed before the normal closing hour.
According to her, the students were asked to go home after information got to them that there is a likelihood of a breach of security in Bwari.
Also, Veritas University, in Bwari, has been closed down and students sent home.
According to a senior lecturer of the school, who said she was not authorised to speak with journalist, ”The school was shut this morning by the vice chancellor. ‘We received a circular that everyone should vacate the school by 11am today (yesterday). ”
She said the students had been on holiday since last week but the academic staff and other staff were still going to school before the circular was sent out.
”Though the students were on holiday, we were still going to school until we got a circular today (yesterday) from the office of the Vice Chancellor that everyone should leave the campus”, the source said.
Another polytechnic in the area also sent its student out of the hostel.
A 200-level student of Dorben Polytechnic, Bwari, confirmed that the school authorities issued a circular asking the students to vacate the hostels and that henceforth they will holding lectures online.
The student who studies public administration at the polytechnic said all the student promptly complied with the directive and quit the hostels.
About three days ago, the FCT Police Command faulted information that the territory was under possible the attack of Boko Haram terrorists. The command had, in a press statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Yusuf Mariam, said, “The attention of the FCT Joint Security Team has been drawn to a viral publication in the social media purporting that the ‘Federal Capital Territory is under the attack of Boko Haram Terrorists’.
”The Joint Security Team of the FCT wishes to refute the mischievous publication targeted at creating palpable tension amongst the well-spirited residents of the FCT.”
We’re Monitoring Situation – Police
Meanwhile, following the social media report of the invasion of Bwari axis of the FCT by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, bandits, or kidnappers, the Nigerian Police have said they monitoring the situation.
Though the spokesperson of the police and the FCT PRO did not comment on the issue, a reliable senior police officer confirmed that the police management had deployed tactical teams which are monitoring the situation, but that there is no cause for alarm.
According to the source, the situation is very critical and the police are not taking it lightly.
There were reports on social media of invasion of Bwari by a group numbering about 800.
This led to report of closure of schools around the area fearing abduction as has been the case in recent times.