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Kidnapping, killings have destroyed education in North, parents lament

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Parents of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka and other stakeholders in the North, have lamented that kidnapping and armed banditary have destroyed education in the region.

The Chairman of the Parents Forum of the College, Abdullahi Usman and the President of Arewa Youths for Progress and Development (AYPD), Comrade Danjuma Sarki, said the unfortunate incidences of kidnapping and killing of students in the various schools in the region have had a negative impact on the education sector.

Usman and Sarki, who spoke in separate interviews with The Guardian, alleged that northern leaders have abandoned their primary responsibility of securing the region and promoting education while armed bandits now have a field day.

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Usman said: “Since the release of the students by the bandits, parents have not had access to them for them to recount their ordeals, because they are still in the hands of police who are treating them in the hospital.

“We were asked to come today (Friday) at 2.00pm. So, right now, no parent has any knowledge on how they were treated by the bandits.”

Usman lamented that the failure of the government to checkmate the activities of the criminals has worsened the challenges in the education system in the North.

He added: “Let me tell you; our education in the North have now been set backwards for 100 years. How can we meet the South in the pursuit of education when children are being kidnapped and killed by bandits?

“Many parents may not allow their children to go back to the school after the experience. Already, many schools in this state have closed down and children are afraid to go to school.”

Usman condemned the policy of the Kaduna State government not to negotiate with the bandits, saying: “Even if you don’t want to negotiate with them, you don’t say this publicly, because you are only strengthening the bandits who didn’t want to release them initially.”

Sarki, on his part, described the present insecurity in the north, particularly Kaduna State as unacceptable, blaming the governors for the escalation of the situation.

He said: “They lack the capacity to manage and handle crisis. Presently, schools are no longer what they used to be. I travelled to Zonkwa, and the schools are shut because of kidnapping and killings.

“For instance, the students of some of the schools in the rural areas have been taken to other schools in the town and merged. Does the government consider the carrying capacity? This is not how to run a state or country. Why not find solution to the insecurity and allow peace to rain.

“The present government want to destroy our people by not finding solution to this kidnapping and banditry. It is time they think and put an end to this situation, which has destroyed education and the economy,” Sarki said.

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