…asks FG to take responsibility, rescue abducted students
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government and security agencies to take responsibility and ensure every student abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State, was rescued and reunited with their families.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, yesterday in Abuja, said the abduction would have been averted if the necessary security initiatives to protect schools, which he said were vulnerable to attacks in the area, were carried out.
Commending the improved response of security personnel compared to previous attacks over the years, he stressed the need for the deployment of rapid response teams in every security volatile state in the country.
His words: “In our view, this abduction would not have happened, had adequate precaution been taken. It is common knowledge that Katsina and Zamfara, both in the North-West, have been the epicentre of extreme violent banditry in the past two or more years with abductions and killings on a regular basis.
“Villages or communities have been pillaged and reduced to rubble, strangulating in the process all economic activities, especially farming. “Given this scenario and precedents (Chibok etc.), it should have been obvious that Kankara was waiting to happen for two reasons: schools are vulnerable; male schools in particular are rich recruiting grounds.
“The fact that our security personnel appear to be stretched thin is no reason not to have taken necessary security initiative to protect schools. “Government/security should take responsibility and ensure all the students are rescued to the last person, unharmed. Coupled with this, they should do all that is necessary to ensure our students are not abducted from school, ever again.
“Government and security agencies are advised to work with local communities to provide the needed security around schools round the clock.
While such security may not face the firepower of bandits, it would at least, hold them.
We similarly, believe there should be rapid response teams deployed around the volatile states.” Condemning the actions of the security personnel who opened tear gas on the protesting patents of the abducted students, Wabba maintained that peaceful protest was backed by the constitution.
“We are worried that security personnel are reported to have tear-gassed protesting parents of the abducted students and their sympathisers.
“We need not remind the authorities that the right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by our constitution and no one should abridge it. We recall that a similar protest in the state over escalating insecurity situation was similarly broken up and its leaders arrested.
“This culture of silence of the graveyard cannot be allowed to thrive in Katsina or in any part of the country. We must warn of the dangers of imposed silence,” he said.