The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has called on Nigerians to be vigilant amid the widespread abduction of schoolchildren, especially in the country’s northern part.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of security. Every nation is always concerned about the consciousness of its people. The federal government cannot secure every house. Everybody needs to be vigilant. We have passed this message to all our schools so that anywhere they are, if there is any threat, they know the nearest security agency to contact,” Mr Chukwuemeka was quoted as saying by Punch.
Speaking further, the minister noted, “Almost all the schools in Nigeria, whether private or owned by the federal government, are mostly all fenced, except maybe some state schools. As you may also be aware, even if you put up a fence, these people (bandits) have been known to come through gates.”
He added that communities needed to be security-conscious and seek help from security officials on time.
“So, perimeter fencing, by themselves, are not too effective. The security consciousness is the thing. If you hear where some of them are being held, you will know that it is a question of self-consciousness and communities informing officials on time,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime and northern state governments have been grappling with insurgency and banditry with no clear-cut approach to end the situation.
A security consultant, Mike Ejiofor, told People Gazette that the advice given to the parents by the minister was good for the country because the government lacks funds for security agencies to operate effectively in the country.
“People make up the government. They must be involved in securing themselves. They should be vigilant to know their environment, especially now that schools are attacked. We don’t have funds to maintain the security agencies,” he said
He advised the government to be more prepared by introducing security initiatives from other countries due to the high rate of schoolchildren abduction.
“The government needs to look at the security initiatives of other countries so they can strengthen security in the schools because parents are not in the school, but they should be educated on being security-conscious at all times.
“We have security challenges of maintaining laws in the county. The government needs to do more because the attacks will discourage parents, especially in the North, to send their children to schools that will be disastrous for the nation,” he said.