NewsOne Nigeria learned that private schools in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, hurriedly shut down their activities yesterday over the fear of possible attack by bandits despite assurances by the police authorities that Abuja is safe.
A report monitored on LEADERSHIP newspaper by Newsone Nigeria, says some Abuja 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 the Sabon Wuse area of Niger State, a border town with Bwari in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The quoted a source to have said 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 LEADERSHIP that the schools gave the instructions on a various group WhatsApp platforms of the schools.
In the last two weeks, facts available to Newsone, 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, LEADERSHIP reports.
According to residents, the fear was heightened following the report that over 200 unknown persons were dropped from a truck in Sabon Wuse area.
A parent who spoke to LEADERSHIP said, “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 LEADERSHIP 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 of Abuja 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.
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.
The parent said the students were asked to go home after information got to them that there is a likelihood of a breach of security in Bwari which could affect some Abuja schools
According to report by LEADERSHIP, Veritas University, in Bwari, has been closed down and students sent home.
A senior lecturer of the school, who said she was not authorised to speak with journalist, stated that: ”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, told LEADERSHIP 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 speak on Abuja schools shut down
Meanwhile, following the social media report of invasion of Bwari axis of the FCT by suspected Boko Haram terrorist, bandits or kidnappers, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Abuja Command, 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, who pleaded anonymity, told LEADERSHIP 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 Abuja schools around the area fearing abduction as has been the case in recent times.