NSCDC Pledges to Secure Kogi Schools Against Kidnappers

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The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has pledged to put in place a mechanism to secure schools and prevent students from kidnappers in Kogi.

The Commander, National Safe School Response Coordination Centre, NSCDC NHQ, Abuja, Dr Hammed Abodunrin, said this when he visited the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara.

Mr Abodunrin expressed sadness over the abduction of CUSTECH students by suspected bandits, saying there was need to fortify security around schools to ensure safety of students.

Suspected bandits on Thursday invaded CUSTECH, Osara and abducted an unspecified number of students 14 of which had been rescued.

The commander said that the abduction was unfortunate, saying that his visit was in solidarity with the management and university’s community.

He stated, “This visit is in response to the incident as a national centre that coordinates responses to issues of such. We owe it a duty to visit the place for on the spot assessment after receiving the briefing from the Kogi NSCDC Commandant. The federal government has resolved that there will be no stone left unturned when it comes to the issue of safety and security of students in our schools. The Safe School initiative is a global project and not peculiar to Nigeria, but our own situation in Nigeria is peculiar and we are taking it very seriously.

“Aside from responding to issues like this, the NSSRCC also has programmes where we actually build capacities of stakeholders in personal security. So, we will assist in building the capacities of the CUSTECH’s management and staff, university security agents as well as the students especially those in final year.”

Mr Abodunrin said that the establishment of the NSSRCC at the NSCDC Headquarters was in demonstration of the government’s resolve to address the challenge of school attacks and its consequences that had thrown a large number of children out of school in Nigeria.

The NSSRCC commander stressed the need to be proactive and be conscious of the environment.

“Nigerians have always taken the issue of security for granted. That is why the criminals are taking advantage of our not being security conscious; everybody must be vigilant. It is high time we began to build the capacity of everybody including members of the university community on personal security and vigilance, so that people will be able to know what to do on time. But I want to assure you that with the collaboration of the relevant stakeholders in the safe school initiative, we will build the capacity of everybody in the institution,” he said.

He stressed the need for community engagement in curbing security challenges in schools and the society at large.

He stated, “When you see something you must identify what you see and say it. If people are security conscious of their environment and give timely information to security agencies for prompt intervention because everybody is affected. I am happy that the students have been rescued, and that is our joy. Although it has happened, but we are on top of the situation.’’

He commended Governor Ahmed Ododo for his quick response in ensuring that the school was safe and secure.

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdulrahman Asipita, commended the commander for the visit.

He said that efforts of the security agencies including the Army, DSS, police and NSCDC, hunters and vigilance groups resulted in rescuing 14 students unhurt.

“The security operatives, hunters and vigilance group members are still combing the forest to see if there are remnants. But what we know for now is that we have rescued all our students.

“We will do our own part as individuals and as an institution in intelligence gathering. It’s our prayer that this kind of incident will not happen again in our institution,” the VC said.

On his part, the NSCDC Commandant, Kogi State Command, Paul Igwebuike, said the swift response of the agency as well as other security agencies yielded some positive results.

He stressed that the corps had been working with the school management as well as a robust partnership with other security agencies to ensure safety of lives and property in the state.

(NAN)


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