Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia
About 20,000 school children in both primary and secondary schools have been reportedly forced out of school in Nasarawa State in the wake of attacks by suspected herdsmen on the border communities of Benue and Nasarawa States.
Investigations by THISDAY revealed that at least about 20,000 primary school pupils and secondary school students were forced out of school in Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma Local Government Areas of the state following the displacement of Tiv farmers on border communities of the two states by the suspected militia herdsmen.
Investigations further disclosed that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps located in some towns of the southern senatorial zone were not provided with make-shift schools by the state government to let the displaced children continue with their education.
Speaking to THISDAY on condition of anonymity, a primary school teacher in one of the schools in Kadarko town of Keana Local Government said that all primary and secondary schools in the town; either privately or publicly owned, had been shut down since the advent of the attacks on Tiv communities by the marauding herdsmen as from January, 2018.
The investigation further revealed that the Tiv ethnic group, who were predominantly farmers, were reported to be one of the most populated ethnic nationalities in the Doma, Obi, Keana and Awe and Lafia Local Government Areas in the state that were engulfed in the crisis.
When contacted, the Nasarawa State Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Board, Mohammed Danâ€™azumi, said the board was still taking statistics in order to ascertain the exact number of school children forced out of school at the wake of the attacks.
Danâ€™azumi, who directed the permanent member, Hadiza Alakayi, to speak on his behalf, said: â€œThe board has sent its instructors and headmasters to collect statistics in the five local government areas, and they are yet to submit their report.
The situation is under control. We summoned education secretaries, supervisors and headmasters to ensure that all schools should resume.
The board is going to monitor and supervise the situation based on the report recieved. The IDPs children shall be taken care of.â€