Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Herdsmen Killings: 300,000 Benue Students Out Of School

No fewer than 300,000 children in Benue state are out of school due to incessant attacks by herdsmen, says Secretary of the Benue State Teaching Service Board, Prof. Wilfred Uji. Uji, who decried the persistent killings in the state during a press briefing on Tuesday in Makurdi, said the crisis had seriously affected the educational system, especially the primary and secondary school system.

“Two-hundred thousand of the figure are secondary school students and 100,000 are primary school pupils, which cut across three local government areas,” said Uji. Uji named Apa, Agatu, Makurdi, Okpokwu and Ogbadibo as places where pupils had left over fear of being attacked.

He said, “I was in my office when some of them (teachers) walked in and showed me threat letters and once this kind of letter is written to you, you better take it seriously or the next day, you find yourself in a different form,” he said.

“The future of our children is under attack and education in Benue State is under attack and has been compromised completely due to the situation we find ourselves in. In the herdsmen and farmers’ crisis, the isolated targets are usually the schoolchildren.

“If this crisis is between herdsmen and farmers, why the attacks on educational facilities, much the same way like the fight you find in the North-East. There is a connect between the Boko Haram attacks in the North-East and the attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the North-Central in terms of killings and destruction of properties. It is my firm belief that somebody somewhere is trying to destroy the educational standards of Benue.”

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