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School invasion: We can’t concentrate on our studies

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[FILES] A signboard of the Government Girls Secondary School is pictured after over 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped by bandits in Jangebe, a village in Zamfara State, northwest of Nigeria on February 27, 2021. – More than 300 schoolgirls were snatched from dormitories by gunmen in the middle of the night in northwestern Zamfara state on February 26, in the third known mass kidnapping of students since December. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Sir: We of the National Association of Nigerian Colleges of Education Students (NANCES) condemn in strong terms the continuous invasion of schools and abduction of school children by bandits for pecuniary interests in the country. The trauma that puts students alone doesn’t allow them to concentrate on their studies, because of fear of the unknown.

It is high time the government utilised every resource at its disposal to tackle the menace as it portends grievous danger for the country where schools are regularly invaded and innocent students abducted and killed without human pity.
The situation is pathetic. We can’t explain how school children suddenly became the target of the hoodlums, kidnappers and bandits which is unprecedented in the history of the nation. These slain children are human beings and innocently died painfully for doing nothing wrong. Is it a crime to embrace education in Nigeria?

We have lost many students to bandits and kidnappers and seemingly, no serious efforts to curtail the menace, instead, security that is meant for the entire nation is being enjoyed by only the privileged elite leaving vulnerable citizens to their fate.

The most shocking episode is hearing that government often negotiates with the abductors rather than bringing them to face the wrath of the law to bring the menace to a rapid end. More worrisome is the episodes that government always negotiate with the criminals instead of bringing them to face justice which suggests that the criminals are not hidden but known and can be identified.

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Imagine the trauma these innocent children are continuously subjected to by ambushing them at gunpoint by gunmen at such tender ages. We as a students’ group expects that by now, all the soldiers in the military barracks, Airforce personnel will complement the conventional Police and invade the evil bushes and forests where the heinous crimes are committed on daily basis.

It must be noted that the activities of kidnappers, abductors and bandits may cripple education in the country if no relevant actions are taken in no distant time.

The relentless efforts of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to take education to the next level are commendable, but regrettably, the activities of the criminals may make all his positive innovations counterproductive if the state of emergency is not declared on security in the nation soon.

We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to use every possible means to counter the activities of the criminals who are bent on making his administration unproductive and the society ungovernable despite his robust policies.
Mahmud Abubarka is the National President of, National Association of Nigerian Colleges of Education Students (NANCES), Abuja.

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