BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA, Abuja |
Worried by the incessant attacks on schools in the country, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has called for a concerted effort at combating the scourge.
The SGF made the call while presenting a keynote address on the occasion of “Peace Walk Against Incessant Invasion And Kidnapping Of Students In Our Education Institutions” organised by the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) in Abuja.
Mustapha, who was represented at the occasion by the director, Nigeria National Volunteer Services, Office of the SGF, Mrs Olushola Dada, said the 2014 kidnap of more than 200 schoolgirls in the north-eastern town of Chibok by Islamist extremists, brought global attention to the scourge of raids on schools in Nigeria.
He said the rise in insecurity in schools puts pressure on an already fragile educational system and as a direct consequence, dozens of schools have been closed in the Northern part of the country.
“Our security forces are showing more dynamism and innovativeness especially through interagency synergy that will lead to a strategic framework for the effective security and protection of our schools, because of these invasions and attacks.
“However, this cannot be enough without the cooperation and collaboration of the citizenry, especially in the area of information gathering,” the SGF said.
He added that his office has offered support to the Peace Corps of Nigeria, working in partnership to foster real initiatives that not only continue to inspire confidence in ability to uphold peace and security within the community but to also provide employment for the Nigerian youth.
In his address, the national commandant, PCN, Prof Dickson Akoh, said the peace walk was organised to draw national consciousness to the menace of school invasion and kidnapping and to mobilise state and non-state actors to come together with the aim of securing “our institutions of learning from further attacks by bandits”.
“It is on this note that I appeal dispassionately to the conscience, regardless of our social, ethnic, religious or political affiliations to rise in unison against the sustained, horrendous and murderous act of terrorism in our institutions of learning,” Akoh added.