The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday announced the deployment of female officers to schools across the country to protect students and teachers from frequent invasions by bandits.

The Commandant General, Ahmed Audi, ordered their mobilisation and a one-month intensive training programme and proper kitting of female squads in all the 36 State Commands and the Federal Capital Territory for this purpose.

He noted that the deployment was in line with the safe school initiative project of the Ministry of Interior and the Minister, Rauf Aregbesola who “has charged him as a matter of urgency to develop a template to end this nightmare.”

Female agents to the rescue

According to Mr Audi, “following the spate of attacks and kidnapping of students in schools from different parts of the country, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has conducted a vulnerability survey of all schools in the country according to the six geopolitical zones, states, senatorial districts, and local governments.”

This survey, he said “showed a very high level of vulnerability of some schools in different parts of the country”. However, he said he is confident the data obtained from the survey is a veritable tool for the Corps in carrying out ‘this serious assignment’.

The Commandant General made this known while briefing personnel at the national headquarters, Abuja on his policies and programmes to reenergise the service.

“There is a need to roll out policies and programmes that will constantly boost the morale of personnel to put in their best. I will make sure that all entitlements and operational allowances for the Rapid Response Squad, Female Squad, and any other assignments given to any personnel are paid so that we can prove to Nigerians that we are back again,’’ he said.

Additionally, he promised that all outstanding promotion arrears will be paid “and personnel will have cause to smile again”.

“Nigerians will start seeing the Female Squad in action as the Corps is planning to work with the Federal Ministry of Education to work out modalities for providing adequate security coverage for all schools in the country to checkmate the incessant attacks and invasion of schools by bandits and kidnappers in different parts of the country.

“This is a very serious assignment and there is a need for effective execution across board. I shall ensure effective deployment of personnel to protect our schools and restore the confidence of students, teachers, and parents alike; the glory of our educational system must be restored because upon this lies the future of this country.”

Mr Audi stated that the Corps “will work in synergy with other sister agencies because synergy and collaboration is a necessary mechanism in winning the war against insecurity as no organisation can work in isolation and achieve anything tangible”.

He advocated intelligence sharing among security agencies of government as a panacea to nipping crime and insecurity in the bud and also charged “fellow Nigerians to assist security agencies to succeed with timely releases of credible information to help fight crime in the society”.

Ugly spike

Kidnapping in Nigeria has become worrisome as not a month goes by without reports of abductions for ransom.

Sadly, school children especially in Northern Nigeria have become the primary targets.

The country has witnessed at least 11 cases of kidnapping of pupils and students from their schools since 2014. Over 700 students and pupils have been kidnapped since December 2020.

Some of these students have returned, while others may never be seen again due to the lethargy displayed by the authorities in rescuing them.

Just before sunset last Thursday, gunmen attacked the Federal Government College Birnin-Yauri, a secondary school in Kebbi State, and abducted dozens of students from their dormitories.

In Kankara, Katsina State, last December, 300 boys were abducted from a boarding school.

A PREMIUM TIMES report shows a timeline of these events to date.

The Nigerian government had on several occasions charged the nation’s security and intelligence agencies to expedite efforts towards the rescue of kidnapped students and arrest of culprits.

But the security situation is now worse across the nation than it was before the Muhammadu Buhari administration got elected in 2015


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