PRESS RELEASE: PEACE CORPS CALLS ON FG TO SECURE SCHOOLS FROM FURTHER ATTACKS
BEING A TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY THE NATIONAL COMMANDANT, PEACE CORPS OF NIGERIA, PROF. DICKSON A.O. AKOH, FCITr, FCPA, FNSIS ON INCESSANT KIDNAPPING OF STUDENTS AND OTHER FORMS OF BANDITRY IN OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS HELD ON MONDAY, 1ST MARCH, 2021, AT PEACE CORPS OF NIGERIA’S HEADQUARTERS, JABI, ABUJA.
Gentlemen of the Press,
It is my honour to inform you that the Peace Corps of Nigeria, join all voices of reasoning to unequivocally condemn the spates of sustained and repressive attacks by way of invasion, killings, pillaging, kidnapping for ransom and rape by bandits on educational institutions, especially secondary schools in parts of the Country.
- Earlier on, the kidnappers vis-à-vis the bandits focused their attack on the elites and political office holders in the name of ventilating their anger and frustrations. But now, redirecting their attention on innocent youths and students, being soft targets, is to say the least an act taken too far and this calls for drastic measures to be emplaced if the war against banditry is to be won.
- So far, statistics reveals that from Chibok to Jangede 1,140 students have been abducted in seven years with some of them either killed, forcefully married away, maimed or remained traumatised even after regaining freedom. The banditry and the attendant horror being visited on our schools, if not urgently addressed frankly and frontally, will not only instil psychological fear on the students, which is capable of creating a disconnect in our educational system, with grievous implications on national development.
- In view of the above, it is logical to acknowledge here that our dear country is indeed passing through unprecedented security challenges that seems to have defy prescribed or conventional solution. However, as serious as the situation may be, this is not the best of time to either trade blame or embark on divisive tendencies rather, our collective commitments should be on how all and sundry can come together and form a strong bond against banditry and terrorism under any guise.
- Peace Corps of Nigeria urges the Federal Government to urgently come up with conscious and deliberate policies geared towards protecting, securing and safeguarding our institutions of learning from further attacks by the marauding bandits.
- As being the case of the western society, the time is ripe for the government to fortify security measures within and around educational institutions. Such arrangements beside securing educational institutions against intruders, is also to guarantee the safety of students and keep track of movement around institutions of learning with a view to properly transmit incidents of strange movement of people to appropriate security agencies for preemptive measures.
- In other civilised climes, every aspect of social life has its specialised security network. The primary focus of the Peace Corps of Nigeria is to secure educational institutions from intruders and also combat all forms of social vices with a view to create a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for learning. This is also part of the functions that the Bill for An Act to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps currently pending before the 9th National Assembly is seeking to address. In view of the heightening insecurity challenges in our country, I strongly appeal to the leadership of the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of the Bill and for Mr President to assent to this all-important Bill. This will indeed, enable the Peace Corps to deploy its Officers and Men to educational institutions as they have been adequately trained and oriented to serve as supporting agents of social order by providing a second line of public safety.
- Thus, they can adequately address insecurity in schools by upholding bottom-up surveillance through monitoring, observation, evaluation, and to detect, collate and analyze intelligence data on matters that may likely cause breach of peace and security within the school community and properly transmit same to appropriate Security Agencies for preventive actions.