Kagara: It is unfortunate all kidnappings of students are happening in the North ― Lawan
• As Senate asks Buhari to declare emergency on insecurity
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed concern over the abduction of school students.
Senator Lawan noted that the unsavoury incident was peculiar to schools located in the northern part of the country and could discourage parents from allowing their children to acquire Western education.
The Senate President remarks was a sequel to a motion brought by Senator representing Niger East, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, over early morning abduction of students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara in Niger State.
Senator Musa who rose under order 42 and 52, stated that an unspecified number of school students with their teachers have been abducted.
In his motion, “Abduction of Students and Teachers of Government Science School Kagara: Need for urgent action,” the Senator representing Niger East noted with sadness, and great concern, the recent terrorist attack and abduction of students at Government Science School, Kagara, Niger State by gunmen in the early hour of Wednesday.
He further disclosed that the bandits were dressed in military uniforms when they attacked the boarding school, overpowered the security guards before whisking away the students, and killing some which numbers were yet to be confirmed.
Senator Musa submitted that aware that section 14 (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended stipulates that the welfare and security of citizens shall be the primary responsibility of government; thus government at all levels owe the people the duty to provide adequate security;
“Aware that the recent attack and abduction of school children at Government Science School, Kagara, Niger State is coming on the heels of yet to be resolved Kankara abduction of 300 students which took place at Government Science School, Kankara, Katsina State, Chibok Girls in 2014, and abduction of about 100 school girls at Government Girls Science and Technical School, Dapchi, Yobe State in 2018; and concerned that like the other incidents of school children abduction that took place in Chibok and Dapchi, several years back, if no immediate action is taken to rescue Kagara School Students, their fate may be sealed in the hands of terrorists.”
Contributing to the motion, Senator representing Niger South Senatorial District, Birma Enagi said no senatorial district in Niger State was safe from the menace of banditry and kidnapping.
He maintained that the National Assembly has continued to give all necessary support to the Executive arm but expressed regret that the present administration has lost the initiative to counter the scary security situation across the country.
He said: “I am sorry to say this, the government is grossly incompetent in the handling of security challenges in this country.
“In my own zone, a few days ago, terrorists went to two local governments, but fortunately, my people were able to repel and killed 9 of them and in short everybody that is here has a story to tell about security challenges in this country.
“What else are we supposed to do that we are not doing? Are we supposed to amend laws in this country to give every citizen the opportunity to carry arms? What else are we supposed to do?
“Are we going to amend Nigeria Constitution to give more powers to the governors who are the Chief Security Officers of their various states because our government at the centre is so incompetent in the handling of security issues?
“Imagine if it is one of us that his or her daughter and son were kidnapped. I expect everyone in government to think like that.
“For over two years, our Police and other security agents have been trying and for over two years, we discussed security challenges that we are facing, yet nothing has improved.
“We have a lot of youths who are undergraduates that are not employed or underemployed. What are we doing, the government is busy distributing palliative instead of creating economic activities that will engage the unemployed that will generate employment; that will improve the welfare of our people.
“Mr President, my highly respected distinguished colleagues, the situation in this country is disheartening and something needs to be done.”
The Senate in its resolutions, condemned in very strong terms the attack on Government Science School, Kagara, Niger State and urged President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President, Muhammed Buhari, GCFR to as a matter of urgency, to declare a State of Emergency on Insecurity in Nigeria.
It equally urged President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President, Muhammed Buhari, GCFR to consider and implement the recommendations of the Senate ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria’s Security Challenges dated March 17, 2020 and Senate Resolutions therefrom, as a holistic response to the mounting security challenges across the country. ”
The President of the Senate in his remarks raised the alarm that the growing occurrence of abduction of students and teachers could worsen the present unencouraging enrolment of children in the North for Western education.
He said: “I believe that there is need for something new; a different initiative on especially how to protect our schools. And, let me be a little bit clear about the incident of abducting students from schools.
“Almost all incidents of abducting students from schools happen in Northern Nigeria, and we all know how much efforts our leaders of yesterday, probably right from independence, worked so hard to ensure that children go to school in the northern part of Nigeria.
“With incidents like this, we will be reversing all the gains that were made in convincing parents and wards to take their children to school.
“So, there’s need for our security agencies and government to ensure that we come up with a strategy of ensuring security in schools, because with this spate of kidnapping or abductions, definitely there’ll be that negative adverse effect on the desire and willingness of parents to allow their children to go to schools.
“And, the consequences of not going to school are better imagined in 21st century Nigeria or 21st-century world.
“So, the Service Chiefs-designate have their work and take clearly cut for them. Part of what they are supposed to carry on board is how to secure our schools in addition to so many other challenges that they have to deal with.
“I believe that the states have to be carried along because the schools belong to the states. So, that partnership and cooperation between the security agencies and the states must be adhered to, so that the states cooperate fully with security agencies of government.
“With that, the whole country will be praying and waiting for our abducted children to be returned back to their parents secured and well.”