* Calls for rescue of all abducted students
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) led by a human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, yesterday told the federal and State governments that their condemnation of Killings by bandits across the country particularly in the North West Zone was not enough to address the issue.
ASCAB in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its Interim Chairman, Falana urged governments to do everything possible to rescue all kidnapped students from the custody of their abductors.
The group in the statement however said that their hearts go to the parents and family members of students “who have been brutally murdered by one of the several gangs of bandits operating without any serious challenge in many states in the North West Zone”.
The statement noted that both the federal government and the Kaduna State Government in their usual style have perfunctorily condemned the reckless killing of the students.
“The official condemnation is not enough. The Governments must take urgent steps to rescue the remaining students of the Greenfield University and other abducted students who are currently languishing in the illegal custody of bandits and terrorists, including the chibok and Dapchi girls,” the statement read in part.
While recalling that a few months ago, an American national was kidnapped in Niger Republic by some bandits, he stated that with the aid of drones the United States Government, with clinical precision, located the den of the bandits in Nigeria where the abductee was held to rescue him.
This, Falana stated, was done in total disregard for the Sovereignty of the Nigerian State, when a detachment of troops landed in Nigeria and rescued the abducted American.
“Instead of only engaging in occasional expression of sympathy with families of abducted victims who are often killed by bandits and terrorists, the federal government and the various state governments should acquire vital security gadgets to track criminal gangs that are terrorising unarmed citizens.
“Since the Federal and Kaduna State Governments should bear full responsibility for the barbaric murder of the unarmed undergraduates and other citizens by criminal elements official wailing is no longer acceptable.
“In view of the worsening insecurity in the country we are compelled to call on the Nigerian people to mount pressure on the governments to secure the life and property of every person in Nigeria.
“It should be fully appreciated that the increasing wave of youth unemployment and mass poverty are at the root of now uncontrollable insecurity and should be frontally addressed by the governments,” Falana stated.
He added that as a matter of urgency, the 14 million out-of-school children should be removed from the streets and enrolled in schools without any further delay.
The senior lawyer further called for the establishment of a programme of employment or unemployment allowance.
“All fraudulently privatised enterprises should be reversed as recommended by the Senate Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Lawan (now Senate President) in 2011.
“The N75 billion earmarked for youth investment fund should be increased sufficiently to combat youth unemployment in the country. The state universities that have embarked on the proliferation of tertiary institutions should equally invest in youth employment”, he added.
ASCAB however called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to resist the mass sack of workers fuelling insecurity in Kaduna State, adding that labour unions should also pressurise the government to adopt measures that will facilitate the rescue of the abducted victims.