Senate says kidnapping will reverse the gains made in school enrollment over the years in the North.
The Senate has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency over escalating insecurity across the country.
This is coming after the kidnap of students and teachers of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State by gunmen on Wednesday morning.
The motion titled: “Abduction of Students and Teachers of Government Science School, Kagara: Need for urgent action.” was sponsored by Senator representing Niger East, Mohammed Sani Musa.
The lawmakers called on the President Buhari to “consider and implement the recommendations of the Senate ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria’s Security Challenges dated March, 17, 2020 and Senate Resolutions there from, as a holistic response to the mounting security challenges across the country.
“And order for a massive and combined operation to identify and destroy the camps and hideouts of these criminals wherever they may be situated.”
These resolutions of the Senate followed a motion on a matter of urgent public importance on the incident by Senator representing Niger East, Mohammed Sani Musa.
Speaking on the development, senate president, Ahmad Lawan condemned incessant kidnapping of students in the country.
Lawan lamented that the incidents would deter the progress made on school enrolment in the north over the years because parents would no longer yield to persuasion to enroll their wards in schools with the level of insecurity plaguing the area especially the kidnap of school children.
The senate president talked about the need for our security agencies and states government to work together to come up with strategies for ensuring security in schools.
“Let me say the Service Chiefs-designate have their work and their tasks clearly cut out for them. Part of what they are supposed to carry on board is how to secure our schools in addition to so many other challenges that they have to deal with.” He stated.
The senator who led the motion in his lead debate urged the Senate to note “with sadness, and great concern, the recent terrorist attack, and abduction of students at Government Science School, Kagara, Niger State, by gunmen in the early hour of today (Wednesday).
“Further notes that the bandits were dressed in military uniforms when they attacked the boarding school, overpowered the security guards before whisking away the students and killing some which numbers are yet to be confirmed.
“Aware that the exact numbers of students kidnapped are not yet known as headcount was being conducted in the school as we speak to ascertain the actual number of missing students; but the school has a population of over 1000 students.
“Further aware that the security agencies were able to detect the coordinates of the area the students were taken to, and have started tracing the bandits’ movement while security aircraft have been seen hovering in the air to track the location of the students.
“Aware that section 14 (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended stipulates that the welfare and security of citizens shall be the primary responsibility of government; thus government at all levels owe the people the duty to provide adequate security.
“Aware that the recent attack and abduction of school children at Government Science School, Kagara, Niger State is coming on the heels of yet to be resolved Kankara abduction of 300 student which took place at Government Science School, Kankara, Katsina State, Chibok Girls in 2014, and abduction of about 100 school girls at Government Girls Science and Technical School, Dapchi, Yobe State in 2018.
“Concerned that like the other incidents of school children abduction that took place in Chibok and Dapchi, several years back, if no immediate action is taken to rescue Kagara School students, their fate may be sealed in the hands of terrorists.
“Further worried that Niger, Katsina and many other states in North-west and North-central Nigeria are now bedeviled by bandits’ attacks.
“The bandits kill and kidnap at will despite the large deployment of police officers and soldiers to the affected States.
“Note also that on Sunday the 14th of February, 2021, many commuters were abducted in Kwandu, all within the same area and are yet to be released.”
One of the senators Mohammed Birma Enagi representing (Niger South), called out the Buhari-led government for incompetence in dealing with the rising insecurity in the country. He dragged the government for giving out palliatives instead of creating economic opportunities that will engage the unemployed and generate employment.
Enagi said: “The enemies of God, bandits, terrorists, kidnappers are everywhere. Where are we heading to in this country? What else do we need as lawmakers that we are not doing?
“Can we rightly say that the government is incompetent? Because this issue has been discussed here over and over and there is no improvement. It is getting worse. “I’m sure everybody here has stories to tell about the security challenges.”
What else are we supposed to do that we are not doing?“Are we supposed to amend the laws in this country to give every citizen freedom to carry arms?
“Are we going to amend the Constitution to give more powers to the governors who are the security heads in their various states because our government at the centre is showing incompetence in handling insecurity – because it is not his son or his daughter that has been kidnapped? I expect everybody in government to think like that.” He asked.