Katsina Rallies Dogs, Prayer Bands Against School Kidnapping

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Governor, KatsinaState, Aminu Bello Masari

Authorities in Nigeria’s Katsina state say dogs and prayer sessions will be part of a new security set-up to protect students at schools from criminals.

Schools in northern Nigeria have come under increased attacks from armed criminals who have abducted hundreds of students since December.

More than 300 boys were kidnapped from a school in the Kankara area of Katsina state in December but were later released.

Public boarding schools in the state were ordered shut last month following increased attacks on schools in north-west Nigeria.

At the reopening of schools last Saturday, the state commissioner of education, Badamasi Charanchi, announced that new security measures will be put in place to prevent further attacks.

In addition to a perimeter fence, five guards and a security post, dogs will also be deployed at public boarding schools, the BBC reports.

“We were advised to deploy these dogs at each school because they have special abilities to detect any intruder faster than human beings in many instances,” he said.

He added that the dogs will alert the students and other security agents in cases of intruders or bandits.

He did not say how many dogs will be deployed at each school but told BBC Hausa that schools will have a dog breeding programme.

There will also be at least three daily prayer sessions at all public schools in the predominant Muslim state to pray against attacks from bandits, he told the BBC.

Many public secondary schools in north-west Nigeria remain closed as authorities try to find solutions to increased attacks on schools by bandits demanding ransom payments.

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