The National Association of University Students (NAUS) yesterday called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to immediately withdraw police operatives attached to VIPs across the country and redeploy them to various institutions of learning to protect the lives of students.
The students’ body lamented the incessant attacks on university campuses across the country by bandits, saying students now live in constant fear of being kidnapped or worse still, killed in a bid to be educated.
The National President of the association, Comrade Ijegalu Felix, stated this at a press conference after the election of the new executive members of the association, which was held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. He queried: “Of what use are policemen to VIPs if the lives of students who are the future leaders of this country continue to be in danger?”
Felix called on President Muhammadu Buhari to find lasting solutions to the insecurity challenges in the country, saying: “Nigerian students are suffering continuously, having a lot of disturbance in our aca- demic calendar.”
He added: “It is also imperative for us to register our displeasure at the disturbing and incessant attacks on students of tertiary institutions in their various campuses across the nation by bandits, kidnappers and marauding criminal herdsmen.
“It is most worrisome and unfortunate that in Nigeria today, hardly a day will go by without the news of an attack on our institutions of learning, with students, lecturers and other staff members being kidnapped or killed by suspected bandits or criminal herdsmen.
“This has not only put the lives of our students in danger, it is also destroying our already crisis-ridden educational sector. “We hereby call on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to find lasting solutions to the insecurity challenges in the country.
Otherwise, we may be forced to take laws into our hands.
“We also called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to immediately withdraw police personnel attached to VIPs across the country, with a view to redeploying them to our various institutions of learning to protect the lives of our students because, of what use are the policemen to the VIPs if the lives of the students who are the future leaders of this country continue to be in danger.”
Felix also called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, address the demands of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to avert another imminent strike. Incidentally, only last Tuesday, the outgoing Vice- Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Sebastian Maimako, during the valedictory session to mark the end of his five-year tenure, said they had turned to the services of local hunters to provide security for its campus and hostels.
“It is no longer news that the security situation in the country is quite tenuous,” Prof. Maimako said. Continuing, he said: “This is why under my administration; we made frantic efforts to ensure that all lives and property within the university are adequately protected.
“When we got a security report that we were the soft target, we closed our hostels for almost two weeks and suspended lectures eventually.
“Before we could reopen, we were given a condition that we must employ the services of local hunters to help us secure our hostels, particularly at night.
“Today, this is where we are, but thank God, the Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, looking at the happening, has offered to train these hunters on the rule of engagement in their working in the university.”