The Kaduna state government has ordered the closure of Christian boarding schools after identifying them as “vulnerable.”
The development is following the kidnapping of 121 students from Bethel Baptist High School in the Chikun local government area.
The order was contained in a letter sent by the head of the Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority to 13 schools in the state, most of which are run by Christian groups. In the letter. the schools were ordered to halt all classes temporarily.
The decision, according to the content of the letter was made at a “meeting with the National Association of proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and some key stakeholders.” Some of the schools affected include Deeper Life Academy in Maraban Rido, Evangelical Church Winning All Secondary School in Ungwar Maje, St. Peter’s Minor Seminary in Katari and Bethel Baptist High School, which was the latest target.
Kaduna state has become an epicentre for abductions. Four kidnapping incidents took place within 24 hours last week in the state and Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i has said he will never negotiate with bandits.
The day senior students were scheduled to take their final exams at Bethel Baptist High School last Monday before armed assailants barged into the compound and abducted at least 121 of them.
The 28 students who were rescued had been reunited with their families. A teacher was also reportedly rescued while the search continues for remaining hostages.
The abductors had contacted the school management, with a promise that the children would not starve if they provided rice, beans, palm oil, salt and stock cubes. They said a ransom demand would follow.
The situation had led to protest by the distressed mothers and fathers crying out to God and praying on the school grounds for the release of their children.