The National Association of Nigerian Students on Sunday urged the Federal Government to declare and treat abductors of schoolchildren as terrorists.
NANS National President, Sunday Asefon, who said the incessant kidnapping of pupils particularly Friday’s abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in Zamfara State was an indictment on the failure of our nation’s security apparatus to withstand the threat of terrorists, called for a change of approach.
Asefon made the call in a statement titled, ‘NANS frowns at incessant kidnapping of school kids, says security of students no longer guaranteed, calls on Federal Government to treat school kidnappers as terrorists’ made available in Ado Ekiti.
This was as the Chairman of NANS/Joint Campus Committee, Ekiti Axis, Felix Olanrewaju, disclosed readiness of the body to partner police, Department of State Services and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps on the need to ensure safety of students in Ekiti.
Olanrewaju said at a press conference in Ado Ekiti that he had met with the leaderships of the security agencies on the need to be on the alert to prevent the abductors from sneaking into Ekiti, adding, “We expect the state and federal governments to focus more attention on insecurity like they are doing for COVID-19, because insecurity is really tormenting our country”.
Asefon, who lamented the quick successions of the kidnapping of schoolchildren, said, “The event of recent time has made it expedient for the government to change its approach to the scourge of school kidnap especially in the North, it is therefore imperative for the kidnappers to be declared as terrorists and treated as such”.
While saying the experiences from Chibok, Dapchi, Kagara and Jangebe, were indicators that the governments at all levels had failed, the NANS President said, “These gale of Kidnappings have become one case too many and the fact that these kidnaps happened without any form of opposition from the security apparatus calls for serious concern.
“The emotional trauma on the kids even when released is long-term and unquantifiable; it may have a lasting influence on their perspective about school and education. Well-meaning Nigerians must be very concerned about this recent development.
“The nation currently faces multi-dimensional security challenges and continuous threats to the safety and security of our schools and this can no longer be tolerated. We will not hesitate to undertake any civil disobedience action to ensure every stakeholder is doing nothing less than their best to ensure the prompt release of our students.
“The NANS National Secretariat shall be relocated to Zamfara State, if the schoolgirls are not rescued within the next 72 hours to solidarize with the schoolgirls and ensure that the government at all levels are doing everything possible for the timely release of the schoolgirls.
“NANS calls on the citizens to collaborate with security outfits in the area of local intelligence gathering to forestall the re-occurrence of this ugly incident while encouraging the security agencies of living up to the billings of making our schools safe for students and staff”, Asefon said.