The Borno Government has directed the immediate closure of public boarding secondary schools, as part of measures to enhance security in schools.
Dr Muhammad Bulama, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, said this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Maiduguri.
Bulama said that the measure was adopted at the end of an expanded Security Council meeting of security agencies, government and traditional leaders held on March 15.
“All boarding secondary schools in the state with the exception of those in Maiduguri and Biu will until further notice be closed with immediate effect.
“Sequel to the unfortunate recent attack on Rann town in Kala-Balge Local Government Council by Boko Haram, urgent and immediate measures will be taken jointly by the Borno Government, the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies to forestall future occurrences there and in other vulnerable communities.
“Elaborate security, infrastructure, personnel and logistics arrangements will be put in place preparatory to the imminent return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Bama, Gwoza and Dikwa local government areas and the subsequent return of their Royal Highnesses to their respective domains.
“To speedily establish structures of civil authority; local government councils, para-military agencies, the judiciary and traditional institutions, as pre-requisite to relocating IDPs to their places of origin,” Bulama said.
He also disclosed that the council had approved the re-opening of Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Road for public and commercial purposes on March 24.
Borno is the spiritual home of Boko Haram Islamists, whose name translates loosely from Hausa as “Western education is forbidden”.
The high-profile abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state, in April 2014, and 110 others from Dapchi, Yobe state, in February this year also led to closures.
Schools that teach a so-called secular curriculum have been repeatedly targeted during the insurgency, which since 2009 has left at least 20,000 people dead.
According to the UN children’s agency UNICEF, more than 2,296 teachers have been killed and some 1,400 schools destroyed in the wider northeast region.