Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) are working out modalities together to put an end to incident of abduction of schoolgirls at schools in the North-east.
Though there have been numerous abductions by Boko Haram insurgents in the crisis ridden North-east of the country, but the country has only shown interest in both the Chibok and Dapchi abductions.
The two paramilitary organisations said yesterday in Maiduguri that new security architectural measures that would put an end to “incessant abductions” of school children in the North-east region would be put in place.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Habila Joshak, gave out the plan while addressing education commissioners, principals and stakeholders in the education sector at the Education Resource Centre, Maiduguri.
He said the two Commissioners for Education and Higher Education, Principals and stakeholders are to partner security agencies towards the restoration of peace and security in Borno and the entire North-east.
According to him, police officers have already been deployed to the entire liberated communities affected by Boko Haram insurgency.
He said the deployment is to protect not only people’s lives and property, but all schools in the insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
Joshak said: “For operational efficiency, command and control, the Inspector-General of Police and the Force management team have increased the number of area commands from three to six, headed by assistant commissioners of police.
“The newly created area commands include Area Commands of Benisheikh,
Uba and Monguno, 145 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.”
He further disclosed that in addition to two Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadrons and Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) base eight, situated in the command, 41 visiting PMF units and eight visiting CTU cells.
He said the cells are on special duties in the command for deployment to liberated communities by the military.
He said the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters has also deployed over 500 members of strike units led by Assistant Commissioner of Police to Operation Lafiya Dole.
The deployment, according to him, was to ensure the sustenance of liberated communities in the entire Borno State.
He said: “This is in addition to the strengthening of our intelligence corridor and encouraging intelligence sharing in the spirit of partnership and networking with relevant sister security agencies.
“The problem of Boko Haram insurgency, calls for our collective participation towards restoration of laws and order in the state.”
He lamented that a transnational organised crime such as insurgency; cannot be successfully fought by a single individual or organisation, and that it was for that reason a meeting to sensitise education commissioners and principals of schools on re-awakening them to contribute their quota to protecting children in schools.
He disclosed that the areas in which the security measures are to be reviewed for implementation include: school management input with emphasis on security, assisting security agencies with credible information.
He said others comprise close monitoring of students’ and visitors’ activities, identifications of sympathisers of Boko Haram insurgents and any other relevant recommendations for effective protection of schools.
The Borno Commissioner of Higher Education, Ahmed Usman, said the security agencies should be proactive in dealing with abduction such as Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls on April 14, 2014 and February 19, 2018.
He, however, warned that there should be no shifts of blames over the abduction
The Borno Commissioner of Education, Inuwa Kubo, also noted that there should be a synergy among the military, police and civil defense to protect all the schools and students.
The Assistant Commandant General of NSCDC, Zakari Ningi, told the stakeholders that security is a collective responsibility to protect lives and property.
He said the deployment of police and civil defense corps to liberated communities, was not for combat operations, but to restore and maintain law and order.
He said the people should change their attitudes towards securing schools and liberated communities.
The chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Borno State chapter, Bulama Abiso, suggested that principals should be prepared to respond to emergencies, while teachers are trained on security tips.