November 29, 2021


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ABU, Zaria: Curbing the trend of attacks on tertiary institutions

ABU, Zaria: Curbing the trend of attacks on tertiary institutions

News Analysis by Ismail Abdulaziz of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“Security situation in Northern Nigeria has assumed a worrisome situation…. Bandits go around in the villages, households and markets with their AK 47 and nobody is challenging them.’’ Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar.

The security situation was aptly described by the venerable Sultan at an event on Thursday in Abuja. From the North East to teh North West and North Central, security has nosedived and things are no longer at ease. Kidnapping along the Abuja-Kaduna road has forced many to turn to the train for transportation. Schools have been targets in the North East with the popular Chibok school attack making headlines across the world.

Recent attacks by bandits in two tertiary institutions in Zaria, Kaduna State is worrisome. In Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic two children and a lecturer were abducted while in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) a lecturers was abducted while his family narrowly escaped.

Auwalu Umar, the ABU spokesman said in a statement: “Kidnappers invaded the house of a staff member of the university. As the police went after them up to Kasuwar Da’a village bothering the university, the kidnappers then released the wife and daughter and went away with the husband.”

A House of Representative member from Kaduna State, Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad (Sabon Gari Federal Constituency), raised a motion of urgent national importance during the week to address the insecurity on the campus.

In a motion co-sponsored by Hon. Shehu Balarabe, Hon. Muktar Shehu Ladan and Hon. Ibrahim Hamza, the lawmakers sought the quick intervention of relevant stakeholders in the ugly trend.

He recalled that the state of insecurity in Nigeria has been a matter of grave concern to all well-meaning patriots for several years now and that the state of insecurity in Kaduna State and Northwest has degenerated to an alarming level in spite of efforts to put an end to it, banditry and kidnappings have continued unabated.

The lawmaker decried the activities of the bandits, who have now extended their spate of kidnappings and abductions to citadel of learning particularly the Ahmadu Bello University.

He observed that the bandits have been aided by the absence of a wall or fence around the Samaru Campus of the University, which share borders with Southern Katsina, as well as the Kuyello area of Birnin Gwari.

He disclosed that the consequence of the attack on ABU is that the University now stands the serious risk of being unable to guarantee a serene and conducive atmosphere that is a sine qua non for its purpose as an institution of higher learning.

‘’Our basic, supreme law, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in its section 14(2)(b) proclaims “the security and welfare of the people” to” be the primary purpose of government.

‘’Security is one of the cardinal policies of the current administration for which it has left no stone unturned towards neutralizing and degrading the terrorist scourge in the North East.

‘’If this trend of attacking University campuses is not halted, chaos and anarchy will reign in our ivory towers where serenity is an inevitable precondition to achieving academic excellence,’’ Muhammad, who is an APC member, said.

He, therefore, suggested a number of steps to be taken to safeguard the lives and property of Nigeria and particularly the ABU communities.

1. The Federal Government to urgently and without further delay erect a secure wall round the campuses of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as has been done for the University of Maiduguri in Maiduguri and the Gwagwalada campuses of the University of Abuja in order to forestall incursions from the bandits and other miscreants;

2. The Inspector General of Police to urgently and without further delay, establish units of its mobile police troops at the institution particularly at the Phase 2 segment of its Samaru campus to ensure security of lives and property at all times;

3. The Chief of Army Staff to urgently and without further delay, establish a battalion of the Nigerian Army at the southern border of the University to help forestall incursions into the campus from that end.

4. He, similarly mandated the House Committees on Tertiary Education and National Security and Intelligence to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Education, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police and other relevant agencies of Government to implement the above resolutions and report to the House within three weeks.

The event in the last few weeks in Zaria tertiary institutions needed to be tackled urgently in order to maintain the peace, security and conducive environment for learning and teaching.

The ABU is a community that harbour over 60,000 staff and students population with origins spread across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. It is a microcosm of Nigeria and needed to be given a sustained atmosphere of security and serenity worth of its status.

***If used, please credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)