From December 2020 to date, over 700 students have been abducted from schools in north-west Nigeria, highlighting a worrying development in the country’s kidnap-for-ransom crisis. This has negatively affected the pace of learning in the northern region and requires real, urgent attention. Security expert, Chidi Omeje joined Olisa and Felicity on Wednesday’s #NCBreakfastCentral to look at the impact of insecurity on education alongside the quest by Boko Haram to stop Western education.
Chidi established that the continuous abductions of school pupils in the North of Nigeria makes it appropriate to assume that there is a deliberate attack on the regions’s educational system. But first, we must know that there is a difference between Insurgency and Banditry.
“While Insurgency is driven by ideology and a forceful attempt to make people believe in your religion, banditry on the other hand has become a pan of economic plunderers who are after economic gains and have somewhat created a business enterprise out of the abduction.”– Chidi Omeje
Reacting to the statement by the Nigerian Minister of Education that the government alone cannot guarantee the safety of school kids and parents should be more security conscious, Chidi stated that the utterance is not only provocative but defeatist. “Whose responsibility is it to secure school students? Is it the parents? What then is the essence of government? If they can’t perform that role, then they should admit that they have failed!”
Now there is a proposal to close down schools in Northern Nigeria. Is this a security strategy? Chidi says NO!
“Shutting down schools is a very lazy idea and it means that we are now succumbing to the threat of Boko Haram and we have yielded to their philosophy that indeed Western Education is abominable. If we see that education is important, we should do all it takes to make sure that education is running seamlessly. Shutting down schools does not solve the problem, are we going to shut them forever!?”
The security expert went on to provide applicable solutions that the government can work with. First, they need to reenergize the security system. “… there are many security agencies doing nothing! Instead of always depending on the military for every security issue, we should bring the Police, Civil defense, and other idle agencies on board to fight insecurity. Military men are not trained to catch criminals or chase kidnappers, their job is to fight wars and dominate environments but we have now turned them to Jack of all trade, doing all manner of things for us.”
Watch interview below: