Following the abduction of students at Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, Gov. Samuel Ortom has ordered the closure of all boarding schools in Benue State.
Ortom, who announced the decision on Thursday when he visited the Maximum Security Custodian Centre (MSCC) in Makurdi, condemned the abduction of students in Katsina State.
He said he had directed the Commissioner for Education to complete necessary steps to close all boarding schools in Benue as a preventive measure against abduction of students.
The governor said if hundreds of students could be abducted in Katsina, the home state of the president, no place was safe again.
Ortom expressed regrets at the abduction of students and on-going killings across the country and called on the President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs to adopt new methods of addressing insecurity.
He also directed the immediate completion of the four block cell building the Benue government was constructing at the MSCC, Makurdi to decongest the existing cells.
The governor also directed the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, who doubles as Chairman Prerogative of Mercy to compile a list of deserving inmates for possible pardon.
Ortom equally urged the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Aondover Kaka’an, to identify those who were unjustly incarcerated and those who could not afford to pay their fines for necessary action.
He disclosed that following the directives of the Federal Government, a total of 48 inmates were released during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
The governor urged all citizens in the state to always wear facemasks and obey the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control safety protocols on COVID-19, adding that the second wave of the pandemic was in the country.
Ortom stated that he had supported inmates through payment of fines even before he became governor, adding that those in various cells across the country could become good leaders if given the opportunity.
He also inspected the level of encroachment on the Centre’s land and addressed the inmates in the facility.
The governor said his administration would liaise with the community to end further encroachment on the land and directed that no new building should be erected there.
Speaking earlier, the Controller, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), Benue, Mrs, Amaka Nwonavi, commended the governor for his continuous support to the service.