By Henry Gabriel
Governors of states in the Northwest geopolitical zone, Kwara and Niger States today met in Kaduna to review the security situation in their areas and to agree joint responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and agreed to close down. Schools for one month.
The school closures according to governors, shall be taken by each of the states, in consultation with the national examination bodies, to close schools for a period of 30 days, starting from Monday, 23rd March 2020.
Present at the meeting were Governors Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger). Deputy Governor Nasiru Gawuna represented Kano State. The Governor of Kwara State joined the meeting by telephone.
The meeting, chaired by the chairman of the Northwest Governors’ Forum, His Excellency, Aminu Bello Masari, was also attended by the SSGs of the states, their Special Advisers and commissioners responsible for security matters.
The governors received briefings from heads of security agencies, at the meeting which had in attendance Major-General A. Agundu (Commander, Operation Safe Haven), Major-Gen. F.I. Yahaya, GOC 1 Division, AVM, M.I. Mukhtar (AOC Air Training Command), Rear Admiral T. Pani (Commandant, Nigerian Navy School of Armaments) and other senior military officers. Commissioners of Police and State Directors of the DSS from the concerned states also attended the meeting.
After briefings and discussions, the governors of the nine states agreed on extraordinary measures to tackle the menace of banditry.
A communique issued after the meeting disclosed that the state governors resolved to jointly fund security operations aimed at conclusively addressing the challenge from the criminal elements.
The governors also agreed joint measures to protect citizens from the likely impact of Covid-19.
These include: “School Closures: Measures shall be taken by each of the states, in consultation with the national examination bodies, to close schools for a period of 30 days, starting from Monday, 23rd March 2020.
“Sensitisation campaigns to discourage large gatherings until further notice.
“Public health awareness campaigns: States will continue to wage aggressive campaigns to encourage citizens to uphold personal hygiene, including hand washing and environmental sanitation,” the communique signed by Aminu Bello Masari and Abubakar Sani Bello, said.