Amid Insecurity, North Battles To Keep Children In School

A request to reopen Madobai Primary School was submitted in mid-November to authorities in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.

It is one of the over two dozen primary schools forced to shut their doors to students following attacks by bandits on farming communities in the local government, leading to the desertion of dozens of villages by inhabitants.

Kankara, like a number of other local governments in Katsina and other parts of Northern Nigeria, is bedevilled by an impetuous security challenge which has resulted in mass displacement and made learning challenging in a region characterised as “educationally backward”.

The school in Madobai was shut down at the onset of the rains, some six months ago, over escalating attacks meant to wade off the rural communities from their farms.

Residents of the tripartite communities of Madobai, Gidan Adu and Jaga came under incessant attacks orchestrated by a notorious gang leader called Likita.

Like in most areas facing similar security challenges, the people in these communities suffered days of sleepless nights as marauders routinely arrived at night, shooting sporadically.

The attackers’ major aims were cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom. To achieve these, they created a commotion by shooting at anyone at sight, thereby killing many.

One day, however, the emboldened attackers came during the daytime, throwing Madobai and its neighbours into pandemonium as they attacked residents near the primary school.

Villagers who had defied the night raids to remain in the area had to now seek refuge. The school shut down willy-nilly.