Some schools reopened in the Nigerian state where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped last year, even after a suicide bombing killed seven people in the region’s capital.
Classes in Borno state were resuming on Monday after several delays to relocate internally displaced people who set up camps in the schools, said students and educators, including Mafoni Government Day Secondary School principal Hajiya Hadiza Abba-Aji.
The state in northeastern Nigeria has been one of the worst-affected areas in a six-year insurgency by Boko Haram. The fighters have killed tens of thousands of people in their campaign to impose Islamic law in Africa’s largest economy. On Sunday, a female suicide bomber killed herself and seven others in Maiduguri, Borno state’s capital.
In Borno, the conflict has displaced 1.6 million people, or almost a third of the state’s population and Boko Haram has razed villages, schools, hospitals and businesses.
The group has stepped up suicide attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the army to defeat the militants by the end of this year. The group’s brutal tactics rose to international prominence after more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted from their dormitories by Boko Haram militants in April 2014 in Chibok, an area in Borno.
The government is struggling to convince students and their parents it’s stable enough to resume schooling, Borno State Commissioner for Education Inuwa Kubo told reporters.
Buhari, a former military ruler, has ordered a crackdown on corruption that has become ingrained in Africa’s biggest economy. His latest target is a former national security adviser that government investigators say awarded “phantom” contracts for the purchase of four jets, 12 helicopters and bombs while troops on the front line against Boko Haram complained of shortages of food, ammunition and equipment.