BY DAYO ADESULU
Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA} has condemned the abduction of scores of students and staff of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State by armed bandits on the morning of Thursday 17th June 2021.
It equally lamented that a police officer was killed in the process, while some students and staff sustained gunshot injuries by the bandits.
”Every student must be accounted for; this tragedy must stop,” it said.
USOSA President-General, Lawrence Anirejuoritse Wilbert Friday speaking in this regard, called for the immediate release of the abducted schoolgirls and their teachers.
In a release sent to TheCheer News, Wilbert said: ”It is disheartening that the incident occurred at a time when the media is awash with fresh assurances by the Federal Government and the security agencies that everything is being done to rid the country of bandits and insurgents and safeguard the lives and property of all Nigerians.
”We are particularly piqued by the fact that the bandits were able to carry out their dastardly acts in broad daylight amidst clearly insufficient resistance.
USOSA views this latest onslaught on innocent school children as utterly insane and wicked.
”We deplore the reprehensible attempt to truncate the academic pursuits of Nigerian children and the country’s peace and security. The Association, therefore, insists that the government should immediately secure the safe return of all the abductees, and apprehend the perpetrators and masterminds of the attack.
”We call for a declaration of a nationwide state of emergency on security, albeit with the retention of all democratic structures and offices. While we are mindful that the Federal Government has over the years taken other steps to tackle the security challenges and even expended colossal sums of money (including billions of naira and dollars) on procurement of arms and ammunition to counter armed criminality in the country, we believe that the progressive deterioration of the security situation nationwide is indicative that more cogent action needs be taken if the unholy marauders must be crushed once and for all.
”The President and other leaders of the nation must awaken to their responsibility. They must act now. In concert with the military and other security agencies, they should rejig strategies aimed at effectively routing the bandits, insurgents and kidnappers and ending the gruesome reign of terror. Security intelligence, surveillance and other proactive measures should be reinforced and broadened to beef up security in the land.
”The procurement and deployment of drones, prompt installation of functional close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all schools, at strategic street corners, churches, mosques, markets and other public places would not be out of place. Perimeter fences should immediately be erected around all schools. Concrete measures must also be taken to secure our national borders, and all necessary international support sought for our cause.
”Furthermore, all the insurgents, bandits and kidnappers who have already been apprehended by the security agencies should be promptly prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law so as to serve as deterrence to their cohorts. Special focus should be on identifying and penalising their sponsors too.
”And our security forces must be sufficiently trained, equipped, funded and motivated. Nigerians must not be left at the mercy of unconscionable,
ignoble outlaws. Indeed, our politicians and other elites must rethink their snail-speed, slothful attitude and lackadaisical response to the security challenges of the nation.
”They must uphold their oaths of office and act in the interest of Nigeria irrespective of their political, ethnic, religious and socio-economic differences. They must earn their upkeep and the trust of Nigerians whose mandate they claim to have received. They must do the needful to put an end to the inglorious carnage and desecration of our land.
”Finally, we urge the security agencies to restore hope by ensuring that there is no recurrence of such brigandage. Their professionalism and efficiency whilst on international assignments are globally acclaimed. We expect that they would acquit themselves even better at home.
”They must eschew the temptation to wallow in past glory, and assert their pride of place now!
God bless Nigeria.”
Bandits had yesterday, Thursday stormed the Federal Government Girls College, Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State and abducted undisclosed numbers of student and Staff, while in the process killed a police officer.
It was gathered that the attackers who rode on motorcycles were said to have stormed the school from neighbouring Rijau forest in the early hours of Thursday.
They were said to have overpowered the mobile policemen guarding the school.