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Insecurity: Fear of students’ safety as schools resume in FCT, others

Insecurity: Fear of students’ safety as schools resume in FCT, others

The security situation in the country has instilled fear in some parents and guardians as primary and secondary schools begin their third-term academic section on Monday.

EPRODITY recalls that some schools, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and its neighboring state, Kaduna had, prior to the Easter break, shut down due to security threats.

Many schools also adjusted their calendar to enable them conclude their second-term examinations while terrorists were on rampage, abducting schoolchildren mostly in the northern part of the country.

From March 6 to March 11, about 800 unsuspecting Nigerians, including schoolchildren were kidnapped by the daredevil terrorists causing mayhem across the nation.

Prior to the Easter break, there were reports that kidnappers were planning to launch attacks in some government-owned schools, particularly in Bwari, Bwari Area Council.

But, parents had a sigh of relief when schools concluded their terminal examination and proceeded for holidays from March 27 to March 29.

The holidays have, however, ended and both private and public schools are expected to resume on Monday, April 22.

EPRODITY observed on Saturday that many schools within the territory have beefed up security in and around their facilities in a bid to ensure safety of students.

But parents, who spoke with our correspondent on Saturday, expressed fear of possible attacks on schools and abduction of children.

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Pastor Daniel Abimbola told EPRODITY on Saturday that although there are needs for the government to provide adequate security for students, parents should also pray to God to protect their children.

“While we are happy that schools are resuming and children will continue to progress in their learning, the issue of insecurity is one big problem that can give parents high blood pressure.

“If you are someone who listens to news everytime and you are conversant with the activities of these bad boys, you will need to have enough faith before you can send your child to school.

“But I urge all of us to find solace in Jesus Christ. We should put our faith in Him and believe that our children are in his hands. The truth of the matter is that being worried won’t solve any problem.

“If you are talking of security agencies, if God did not secure them and give them power, they would also be vulnerable before these evil people called kidnappers.

“I think it is time for us all to turn to God and seek the face of the Almighty regarding the security situation and other issues troubling us as a country. I believe that if we turn to God, he will also turn to us as he promised in Zechariah 1:3”, he said.

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Similarly, Mrs Paulina Odoh, in a chat with EPRODITY on Saturday, appealed to the Federal Government to prioritize the security of schoolchildren.

She said, “Kidnapping has become a business for many people to the extent that people now kidnap themselves and demand for ransom.

“The government should not be relaxed and think that all is well just because we have not heard of abductions in Abuja recently. We all thought it was over before they struck again and kidnapped many innocent children.

“We should not always wait for things to happen before we act. Let’s be proactive. If they want, they can beef up security in all the schools. If they are short of personnel, then let’s recruit more officers. Nigeria has the money and all it takes to be safe”.

EPRODITY gathered on Saturday that some schools in parts of Kaduna, especially the Kuriga community, Chikun Local Government Area are not preparing for resumption due to fear of attacks.

But when contacted by DAILY POST, the Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, Mansir Hassan simply said “there is no security threat anywhere”.

On his own part, the spokesman of Nasarawa State Police Command, DSP Ramhan Nansel told EPRODITY that the state is safe for students’ resumption on Monday.

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Asked what is the security situation in the state, the PPRO said, “Nasarawa State is peaceful, and there’s no cause for alarm”.

Similarly, the PPRO, FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh said all schools remain fortified, stressing that there would be no intimidation from any quarters.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinator, Financing Safe Schools Initiative, Mrs Halima Iliya, last week said plans were underway to actively engage hunters and vigilantes on intelligence gathering to curb attacks on schools across the country.

In an interview with NAN, the Coordinator said that aggressive community engagements and sensitization of students, parents and teachers would kick-off in the second quarter of the year.

“As a component of the plan, for states with local vigilantes, we intend to train their hunters, vigilantes and volunteers while for states without registered vigilantes we intend to advocate using youths.

“Youths will volunteer to protect their communities because we cannot achieve anything within a community without their involvement.

“We will bring them to the security architecture for them to defend and protect their communities in the areas of intelligence gathering, prevention and detection deterrent capabilities,” Iliya said.

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