Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
As distressing incidences of abduction of schoolchildren rage in the northern part of the country unabated, the National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS) has advised the federal government to list bandits perpetrating such ‘horrendous crime’ as terrorists.
NANS averred that the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls from Government Girls Junior Secondary in Jangebe, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State in the early hours of last Friday, was an indictment and clear indication of the failure of the country’s security apparatuses.
Also, the students’ group advised the government to convey a national security summit towards galvanising the best brains in providing ideas and innovation to combating the multi-faceted security challenges in Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti yesterday, NANS National President, Sunday Asefon, expressed disgust at the rate of kidnapping of schoolchildren in quick succession in the country, saying the experiences from Chibok, Dapchi, Kagara, and recently Jangebe in Zamfara State, were pointers to failure of governance at all levels.
According to Asefon, “These gale of kidnappings has become one case too many, and the fact that these kidnaps happened without any form of opposition from the security agencies calls for serious concern.
“The emotional trauma on the children even after their release is a long-term and unquantifiable one. It may have a lasting influence on their perspective about school and education in life, therefore, well-meaning Nigerians must be very concerned about this recent development.
“The country currently faces multi-dimensional security challenges and continuous threats to the safety and security of our schools, and this can no longer be tolerated.
“The recent event has made it expedient for the government to change its approach to the scourge of school kidnap especially in the north, so it is therefore imperative for the kidnappers to be declared as terrorists and treated as such.”
Asefon stated that NANS under his leadership may resort to civil disobedience should the federal government fail to curtail the rising wave of kidnapping in schools in the country.
“The NANS National Secretariat shall be relocated to Zamfara State if the schoolgirls are not rescued within the next 72 hours, to solidarise with the schoolgirls and ensure that the governments at all levels are doing everything possible for the timely release of the schoolgirls.
“We will not hesitate to undertake any civil disobedient action to ensure every stakeholder does nothing less than their best to ensure the prompt release of our students.
“NANS calls on the citizens to collaborate with security outfits in the area of local intelligence gathering to forestall the reoccurrence of this ugly incident, and we encourage the security agencies to live up to the billings of making our schools safe for students and staff,” he said.