Nigerian state closes all secondary schools after massacre

2013-07-07 20:34:28 GMT2013-07-08 04:34:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LAGOS, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's northern state of Yobe ordered on Sunday to close all the secondary schools after a Saturday school massacre in which at least 20 students lost their lives, according to a government statement.

State governor Ibrahim Gaidam directed that all secondary schools in the state be closed down from Monday July 8, 2013 until a new academic session begins in September.

The decision came following an attack on Saturday at a boarding school in where most of the victims were burned alive, while asleep.

The attackers had invaded the school setting fire on the hostels while fleeing students were shot.

The injured students remain in critical condition in a local hospital where they are being treated for various degrees of burns.

The state government also appealed to the federal government to float an intervention fund to cushion the effects of the Boko Haram insurgency on affected states.

While the Yobe Government was totally in support of the declaration of emergency in the state, it would also like the Federal Government to set up a fund to assist people affected by the insurgency, the government added.

The State Government had been cooperating and providing logistics to the Joint Task Force (JTF), tackling the security problems, it said.

Meanwhile, Senate President David Mark has stressed the need to put in place measures to protect children against terrorists.

He made the call via a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.

Mark, who condemned that the gruesome murder of the students and a teacher of a secondary school in Mamudo, near Potiskum, called on the terrorists to give peace a chance.

The senate president described the killings, which were purportedly carried out by members of the Boko Haram sect, as "barbaric and wicked."

Mark, however, appealed to the security agencies to step up their surveillance and monitoring activities to halt the trend and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The senate president gave the assurance that the National Assembly would continue to give priority attention to budgetary allocations to the security agencies to enable them to carry out their duties without hitches.

He commiserated with the government and people of Yobe, especially the bereaved families, over the incident.

Mark urged the perpetrators of the violence to use the numerous windows of dialogue and peace, which the government had opened, to express their grievances.

Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has described the massacre of students and a teacher in northeastern Nigeria as ignoble, wicked and horrendous, and challenged the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

The Speaker said those responsible must be brought to justice.

Tambuwal said there was no justification for the dreadful crime.

According to him, the gains recorded by security agencies in recent weeks in their battle against terror must continue in order to ensure that citizens are protected at all times.

Expressing sympathy for the families of the victims, the Speaker urged Nigerians to be more vigilant and to help the security agencies with useful information to help secure their localities.

He said the National Assembly will, at all times, give necessary support to ensure that peace and security is restored in all parts of the country.

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