Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the abduction of schoolboys and staff of the Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State.
Recall some bandits who were in military uniforms, had stormed the school on Tuesday night, shepherding dozens of the schoolboys into the bush.
Reacting to the abduction via a statement he signed on Wednesday, Mr Abubakar said the reported death of one of the students in the process of escape, is heart-breaking.
He warned that the spate of insecurity in the country was beyond alarming.
According to him, the insecurity situation has gotten to crisis levels, especially when it involves children and other minors.
He said: “Now is not the time for fingers to point in blame. Our nation needs solutions. And we have now seen that paying ransoms, and allowing criminals to profit from their criminality is not a solution.”
Mr Abubakar warned against frequent ransom payments to kidnappers, saying tthat rewarding crimes is tantamount to more crimes,
“When you reward crimes, the end result is more crime. The only long term solution to the insecurity challenge Nigeria is facing is to end the reign of impunity.
“The Federal Government must enforce the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against abductions and kidnappings, by apprehending the criminals, trying them and making an example of those convicted, to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Also, we must be proactive. We cannot wait for these abductions to happen and then go into reactive mode.”
The former vice-president, therefore, called on the Federal Government to declare all secondary and primary schools in the affected states and zones, as Federal Protected Zones, and post armed military personnel at all schools for 24/7 protection.
He said: “If it is not feasible to have armed military guards in all schools, then each state in the should as a matter of urgency replicate the Civilian Joint Task Force idea, that has worked so well in Borno, and deploy them to each school, along with men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“What we must not do is do nothing. History may forgive us for making wrong decisions, but we will never be forgiven if we carry on business as usual.
“As a nation, we must be willing to provide the same level of security that we provide for the schools that the children of the elite attend, for schools that the children of other classes of Nigerians attend.”