Abductions: Government Must Make Schools Safe For Children Says SPEC
By Chinedu Echianu in Abuja
The Save Public Education Campaign (SPEC) a civil society organization committed to a better funded public education system in Nigeria, has urged governments at all levels to strengthen security mechanisms around schools in the country.
The call follows recent abduction of six pupils of LGEA Primary School, Alwaza in Doma LGA of Nasarawa state by unknown gunmen in the early hours of Friday 20th January 2023.
Reports say the abductors, who took away the primary school pupils, laid siege, while the children were reporting to school.
The whereabouts of the pupils and their abductors is still unknown at the time of this report.
In reaction to the incident, a statement jointly signed by the Convener and Co-convener of Save-Public-Education Campaign, Vivian Bello and Comrade Dimeji Macaulay respectively, said it was unfortunate that school children are continuously being used as Pawns in the hands of Bandits and Terrorists.
The statement partly read; "This abhorrent act is coming on the heels of several incidences of abduction of Children from places of learning including Baptist Boys High School Kaduna, Kankara Boys School Katsina, School of Health Kaduna, amongst others.
"It is most distressing that Children attending schools now face issues around their safety even within the School environment where they are ordinarily supposed to play and learn in an atmosphere devoid of fear or encumbrances. To see that this is fast becoming a mirage in the Country is not only distressing but alarming.
"Education is at the Heart of any Society’s development, both of its human capital as well as other aspects of its socio-economic sphere and therefore having this social capital being threatened as it were in Nigeria by Insecurity is most worrisome and calls for prompt action to stem this ugly tide.
"The trauma of these abducted school Children and their parents and families are better imagined than experienced. We call for immediate, strong and effective action in the regard of rescuing the School kids and re-uniting them with their families.
"The Save-Public-Education-Campaign is in this vein making a strong case for the strengthening of Security around Schools across the Country; enough of Children who go to schools to acquire Education, being pawns in the hands of Bandits and other criminal Elements. The Ministry of Education should synergize with Security Agencies to provide strong and effective security around Schools in Nigeria.
"Education Authorities across the Country must also take active steps to emplace and reinforce safety mechanisms and infrastructure (proper fences, automated gates, well-trained and equipped security men, etc), in Schools towards reducing the vulnerabilities School children face in Educational places and making Schools generally safer and conducive for Students across board." the statement concluded.