The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has said the incessant abduction of school children and workers is, without doubt, a way of killing the formal education system in the country gradually.
The National Secretary of the union, Dr Mike Ene, gave this position in an exclusive interview with Tribune Online, on Monday, saying something concrete must have to be done fast particularly by all tiers of government to arrest the tend to save the country’s education sector and its economic development.
According to him, it is very unfortunate that schools have become the soft target for kidnappers to make money in Nigeria.
He said kidnappers have no boundary again as they now abduct both male and female students and their teachers and other school workers as they like.
He said what compound the problem according to the confession of one of the arrested kidnappers is that they have some so-called well-meaning individuals in the society who are in a way sponsoring them including giving them money to feed their abductees.
He said another problem is the inability of the government to prosecute those arrested to make them deterrent for others.
He said if truly the kidnappers are foreigners as the government portraying them and without internal collaborators, they would not be having successful operations.
He said but the fact is that these kidnapping cases are directly or indirectly shutting down the education system, especially in the northern region where the number of out-of-school children is huge already.
He said to compound the problem, many parents now in the region are no longer interested in allowing their children to go back to school.
He said, if the government had taken a bold step and alive to its responsibility of securing the lives of students and teachers and other law-abiding Nigerians, especially after Chibok schoolgirls abduction and that of Dapchi and Katsina schools children, the few latest abduction would not have occurred.
He noted that as long as the perpetrators of the act are getting away with their illegal business and huge ransom paid, the more they would want to keep themselves in the ‘business’ and also recruit more members.
“And the implication of all these is that the practice will continue to ruin our educational system and the economy at large,” he emphasised.
But western education, he added, remains a way forward to Nigeria and its people’s development and not kidnapping activities.
NUT scribe said it is saddening that up to 10 out of 200 kidnapped children would likely form a bad opinion and tendency to involve in crime and criminality in future if they are rescued alive and not properly rehabilitated before reintegration into the society.
He, however, asked the government at all levels to do all they can to secure unhurt all students and teachers and every other individual in kidnappers’ captivity anywhere around the country and also ensure to provide adequate safety around schools nationwide.
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