… As North East Security Outfit Enters

… As North East Security Outfit Enters
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Worsening state of insecurity across the nation amid scourging onslaught in the North East and North West regions by the notorious Boko Haram sect and bandits respectively has become a national emergency of sorts. It would be unquantifiable now or in the future the quantum of losses in terms of human and material carnage inflicted by these daring groups who appear to hold the nation by the jugular.

While it appears the authorities have been apparently taking on the terrorists as it deemed expedient, the intolerable disposition of these outlaws has grown beyond expectations of not a few Nigerians who are already drowned by the deplorable state of security.

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It is even more devastating with Schools in these regions becoming soft targets for terrorist who have become more audacious by the day. They have added to their large cache of victims, school children who apparently are innocent. It is with sobriety we reminisce on the fundamental ideology of BH which name approximates western education as anathema. With the concomitant recurring abduction of school children in these parts, it follows that the heightened spate of kidnappings of school lads is in furtherance of that tendentious ideology which must not be allowed to take on a national proportion. It must be nipped in the bud; otherwise, the BH proponents would have succeeded in entrenching their warped dogma.

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Already boarding schools in Kano have been forced to close shop giving credence to the same BH ideology. 

AljazirahNigeria recalls that an initiative to help protect hundreds of schools in Nigeria was launched on May 7, 2014 in response to the growing number of attacks on the right to education in the country under then President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

It was christened the  “Safe Schools Initiative” aimed at reaching more than 500 schools in the Northern states of Nigeria through a $10 million fund pledged by a coalition of Nigerian business leaders, working with the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, the Global Business Coalition for Education and A World at School.

Announcement of the initiative at the World Economic Forum in Abuja came amid a time of crisis in Nigeria as more than 200 girls were abducted from a boarding school in Chibok,  Borno State.

The initiative was to strengthen growing advocacies and ensure all schools in Nigeria are safe from attacks.

The Safe Schools Initiative was to start by building community security groups to promote safe zones for education, consisting of teachers, parents, police, community leaders and young people themselves. In the longer term, the programme was to focus on bolstering the safety of schools – providing school guards and police in partnership with Nigerian authorities, training staff as school safety officers, and providing counselors to schools at risk of attack.

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It was announced then that a petition with more than 400,000 signatures was to be delivered to the president, showing international support for creating safe schools in Nigeria so that every child is able to go to school and learn.

As noble as that initiative sounded on paper, it never took any proper root, hence it went down with the change of guards in the nation’s Aso Rock, many have averred.

With the growing concern over the unabating abductions of school children against the backdrop of the humongous number of out-of-school children in Nigeria especially in the same troubled North East region, the recent position of the region’s governors to start –up a special security outfit to engender schools’ security across the zone may be applauded as a step in the right direction by all stakeholders.

However it is the position of AljazirahNigeria that the fact of the governance process of any nation should not only be perceived as a continuum but should actually be so in practice.

In the light of this, the current Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to have keyed into the ideals of the the 2014 safe school initiative of the Jonathan government, so as to strengthen its loose ends and see to its full and effective implementation. If this were so, by now the vexed issue of safeguarding schools would have been perfected as a state policy and we would not have needed to be starting afresh at this point when the war against banditry and insurgency has advanced to this dire stage. 

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We commend the governors for seeing the need to establish its own security outfit to curb the menace of attacks on schools even as we urge that they should now put in proper use the often abused and unaccounted security votes by state governors.

AljazirahNigeria urges the governors of the region to be circumspect in recruiting members of that outfit to ensure that its ranks are not infiltrated by the same terrorists against which the schools were being protected in the first place.

We also implore them to ensure adequate professional training as a pre-condition for enlisting any recruits in order to avoid quackery and its debilitating consequences.

Aljazirahnews


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