Insecurity: Reps Decry Kidnapping In Schools, Worsening Insecurity Nationwide

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The House of Representatives has expressed worries over worsening cases of kidnappings and wanton destruction of lives and properties in schools across the country since 2014 to date.

The House in its revolution mandated the House Committees on Army, Airforce, Navy, Police Affairs and Defence to interface with all security Chiefs to identify how best to secure schools and proffer immediate lasting solutions to the security challenges in the country.

The House also mandated schools to engage the services of Private Security outfits to complement the efforts of the security agencies in securing the schools.

The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance moved by Hon. Billy Osawaru during plenary in Abuja.

According to Osawaru, students are no longer safe even in their schools especially in places like Borno, Nasarawa, Niger, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna States.

He explained that most recently, on Thursday, 7th of March 2024, about 287 schoolchildren were kidnapped from a government-owned school in Kaduna State’s Kuriga town.

He said before then, on Friday, 22nd of September 2023, about 24 students of the Federal University of Gusau in Zamfara State were kidnapped by bandits.

The lawmaker also noted that in Nigeria, police men are not guarding most of schools despite the level of attacks frequently experienced by the schools and the ones in existence are not sufficient in manpower and equipment, hence the level losses incurred any time such attacks occurred.

He said “If no drastic measure is taken to curb the escalating insecurity situation in the country and in the schools, the entire schools may end up being shut down due to the activities of these miscreants and hoodlums.

 

“The Government owes the people the responsibility of providing for their welfare and security, so it is incumbent on the government to fulfil its obligation to the people in this regard.

He further explained that due to the directive of Mr. President and the relentless efforts of security agencies, the schoolchildren who were victims of March 2024 attack have long being united with their families but trauma and shocking experiences they must have being through will forever be in their minds and may likely give them phobia of going to school again.

“Despite the efforts of Nigerian security agencies, the miscreants appear to be reinforced and have perpetuated serious chaos in most schools and have made lives extremely difficult for majority of the schoolchildren/students and staff who now live under perpetual fear and threat to their lives.Worried that, based on report (Save the Children), more than 1,680 schoolchildren have been kidnapped in Nigeria since the 2014 abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State and counting.

“The fear of attacks has stopped many children from ever attending school again. In addition to the abductions, over 180 schoolchildren were killed and nearly 90 injured in 70 attacks between April 2014 and December 2022, with an estimated 60 school staff kidnapped and 14 killed. 25 school buildings were reportedly destroyed during that period.

”The majority of these attacks took place in North-West Nigeria (49 attacks), followed by North-Central Nigeria (11 attacks) etc.CONCERNED that in Nigeria, the number of out-of-school children, as per the report from UNICEF, was put at 10.5 million – before the effects of the conflict, humanitarian crisis and COVID-19 pandemic were felt.

“One wonders at present what the figure will be due to the effect of these numerous attacks in different schools across the nation. Disturbed that the embarrassing situation has continued to adversely affect the educational sector and the Nigerian economy in several ways, calling for all-inclusive approach to arrest the situation.”

The House to this end also called on Nigerian clerics, Traditional Rulers, National Orientation Agency and Civil Society Organisations to contribute towards value re-orientation and social re-awakening especially to the out of school children still living in fear.