Darkness Awaits Us If We Do Not End The Attacks on Our Citadels of Learning – Atiku

for a state of emergency to be declared in the education sector and for 24 hour armed guards to be posted at all schools in the affected states

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called for an end to school attacks in Nigeria so that the country does not fall into ‘darkness.’

In response to the kidnapping of an unknown number of undergraduates from the Federal University of Agriculture in Benue State, Atiku made the statement.

The kidnapping came after bandits kidnapped five Greenfield University students in Kaduna and killed them.

The incidents happened just months after bandits kidnapped high school students in Katsina, Niger, and Zamfara states.

Atiku reiterated his call for a state of emergency to be declared in the education sector and for 24 hour armed guards to be posted at all schools in the affected states in a statement titled, ‘Darkness Awaits Us If We Do Not End The Attacks on Our Citadels of Learning Atiku‘.
The
abduction of yet an unspecified number of undergraduates of the Federal
University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, is one abduction too
many. It marks both an unacceptable escalation and an expansion of this
menace, and we must not only ensure that the abducted youths are
rescued, but even more importantly, we must put in measures to prevent
future reoccurrences.

This must not be allowed to become our new
normal. It is time for us as a nation to face the reality that we have
an emergency on our hands. A catastrophe that must be decisively dealt
with before it snowballs into an existential crisis.

We must
stop treating these acts of criminality with kid gloves. Enough is
enough! There must be the safety of lives and property in our citadels
of learning. Without it, there would be a loss of confidence in the
sector, which will result in low enrolment rates in a country that is
already the world headquarters for out of school children.

This
is all the more reason why I have maintained in the past that impunity
must give way to punitive measures. When criminals profit from their
criminality, crime will increase.

The only response from all
governments in Nigeria to acts of abduction, kidnapping and unlawful
detention of persons ought to be to bring the full weight of the law on
the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

Once these criminals
have clarity on what awaits them should they toe such evils paths, then
their audacity to commit evil will be weakened, and gradually, this ugly
chapter in our national life will become a thing of the past.

I
renew the call I made on Monday, March 15, 2021, for a state of
emergency to be declared in the education sector and for 24 hour armed
guards to be posted at all schools in the affected states.

Yes,
it is an expensive venture. Nevertheless, we must accept that whatever
we invest in preserving the lives of Nigeria’s youth is worth the price,
as nothing is, or can be more valuable to us than our youths, who will
take up the baton after we are gone.

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