The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the incessant invasion and abduction of students and teachers in the country, urging the Federal Government to declare the kidnappers as terrorists and treat them in the same manner.
NANS President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, in a statement made available to newsmen, on Sunday, in Abuja, however, said that he was delighted that the 317 kidnapped schoolgirls of Government Girls Junior Secondary Jangebe, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, have regained their freedom.
He said the abduction of the students was an indictment of the failure of the nation’s security apparatus to withstand the threat of terrorists invading the schools to bully and kidnap school children for ransom.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to convene a National Security Summit towards galvanising best brains in providing ideas and innovation for combating the multi-faceted security challenges in Nigeria.
Asefon, said before the release of girls from captivity, the students’ body early Sunday had decided that the NANS National Secretariat be relocated to Zamfara State, if the schoolgirls were not rescued within the next 72hrs to solidarize with the schoolgirls and ensure that the government at all levels are doing everything possible for the timely release of the schoolgirls.
“This has become one case too many and the fact that this kidnap happens without any form of opposition from the security apparatus calls for serious concern,” he said.
Asefon, lamented the emotional trauma the kids would have gone through, saying this might have a lasting influence on their perspective about school and education.
He said: “Well-meaning Nigerians must be very concerned about this recent development. The nation currently faces multi-dimensional security challenges and continuous threats to the safety and security of our schools and this can no longer be tolerated.
“The event of recent time has made it expedient for the government to change its approach to the scourge of school kidnap especially in the North, it is therefore imperative for the kidnappers to be declared as terrorists and treated as such.
“NANS under my leadership will not just fold our arms while these enemies of the nation are allowed to shatter the very fabrics of our educational system and make our schools a no-go area.
“It is therefore in our mutual interest to realistically design a new approach to fighting this coward terrorism against our very vulnerable school kids,” he said.
The NANS President called on the goverment at all levels to ensure that there is no repeat of this ugly occurrence anywhere near the schools.
He also called on the citizens in the most affected states to collaborate with security outfits in the area of local intelligence gathering to forestall the reoccurrence of this ugly incident while encouraging the security agencies to live up to their billings in providing security of life and properties of Nigerians especially making the school safe and conducive for learning security-wise.