Barely 24 hours after students of Greenfield University in Kaduna were released by their abductors, about 200 students of an Islamiyya school were on Sunday kidnapped in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
The incessant kidnapping of our students in the North West calls for an immediate and radical move by the government. We have been daunted by the unending news of the kidnapping of students in their hundreds within the last two years. This development is not only unacceptable; it challenges the very fabrics of our national development, unity, cohesion and possess a great danger to our educational institutions.
The government at various levels has shown little or no capacity in confronting the scourge of kidnapping in the North West. We have lost numbers of our students to some of these incidences. As an organization committed to the safety and welfare of its members, it is no longer expedient to fold our arms and trust the government or the security apparatus to secure our schools, while these mindless cowards continue to troupe into our schools purportedly on motorcycles, and kidnapping our students in their numbers without any form of resistance.
That students numbering up to 200 can be easily kidnapped and taken out of their schools/town without any form of resistance by security apparatus calls for serious concern. We have waited so long for the security around schools to be greatly improved to ensure our students are secured but we have seen little or no improvement of security around our school and campuses.
NANS under my leadership having considered the continuous threats to the life of our students and the reactionary pace of security apparatus response, therefore regrettably call on government at all levels to direct the immediate, and temporary closure of all schools in the North West to ensure that adequate security is put in place in schools and campuses to ensure the security of life and properties of our students. While we regret this position and we hoped it doesn’t get to this level, we are left with no practical alternative than to take this position. As much as the education of our students and members is important, it is only important when there is life. The right to life of our students cannot be compromised for anything.
It is therefore imperative at our level to ensure that we show our grievances to the government on the incessant kidnapping of students in our school and campuses because the security of life and property is the primary and the most important responsibility of government at all levels. To this end, below are our national plan to ensure that we play our part in ensuring a safer school:
I hereby declare 11th June, as the national students’ day of prayers. Prayers shall be offered for the repose of our students who have died in the hand of kidnappers. Prayers shall be offered for the safe return of our students who are still with their kidnappers. Prayers shall be offered to God to give our leaders and security personnel the will and wisdom to win the fight against banditry.
I also declare 12th June 2021, as the National Day of Peaceful Protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity in our school, campuses and also announce a proactive measure or strategy towards ensuring safer schools. While I will lead the protest in one the state in the country, NANS leaders across our various structures shall lead students in protest against insecurity in all the thirty-six state of the federation
Because we believe that security is all-inclusive, NANS shall immediately initiate the process of convening a Students National Security Summit to bring together all stakeholders in the security network; student leaders, tertiary institution management, security expert, and government officials to think through innovative and creative solutions to ensure safer school. The summit shall suggest unique security measures around schools and campuses.
The National Leadership of NANS, therefore, directs all the structures of NANS (ZONAL, STATE, and CHAPTERS) to immediately begin mobilization for the national prayer and protest on the date announced respectively.
Security, Peace, and Sanity must return to our campuses and the government must do all within its capacity to ensure that students who are willing to get an education are free to get it without any existential threats to their lives.
Temporally, I hereby relocate the NANS National Secretariat to Niger State.
Injury to one is an injury to all.
Happy new month.
Comrade Sunday Adedayo Asefon
The Revolutionary NANS President.