• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

FCTA to employ services of vigilante groups to protect schools

Miyetti Allah vigilante group

Following the report indicating that 14 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are at risk of attacks by bandits and insurgents, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has revealed plans to hire local vigilante groups to effectively secure schools in the nation’s capital.

Hassan Sule, the Director/ Chairman of FCT Universal Basic Education Board, who disclosed this during an interview with BusinessDay in Abuja, noted that the administration was putting in place measures to ensure the safety of pupils, students and teachers in FCT.

According to him, “we have instructed all principals of schools across the six Area Councils to ensure that they have phone numbers of village heads, religious leaders in the community and police out post station within their jurisdiction to ensure prompt response of incident.

Sule added that that the administration is working towards fencing all schools in the FCT to safe guide students and teachers in the schools.

We are employing the services of local vigilantes within each community to man each school and a token will be given to them as stipends.”

He said the security architecture of the territory is being overstretched, adding that plans had been concluded by the Administration to hire vigilante services to provide security in the various public schools across the Territory.

He explained that the measures were temporary until a blueprint on security is developed by the FCT Administration soon.

He said, “We are talking of short term measures when we said we are helping public schools to facilitate the procurement of vigilantes to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies

“Remember that some of the vigilantes are equally part of the neighbourhood. They were sourced from the neighbourhood where those schools are situated. So, they know better.

“This is a way of establishing a relationship between the community and government. When the vigilantes see anything that is beyond them, they relate with the conventional security agencies to help out.”

It would be recalled that Halima Iliya, the National Coordinator of Financing Safe Schools in Nigeria, had confirmed that the data of at-risk schools had been collected for intervention.

The report indicate that resurgence of the mass abduction of pupils, the Federal Government has said schools in 14 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are at risk of attacks by bandits and insurgents.

Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Yobe, Katsina, FCT, Kebbi, Sokoto, Plateau, Zamfara and three others were named as the affected states.

Iliya said, “We’ve communicated to all the states; letters have been written for inclusion of Safe Schools in their budget and for them to select the most at-risk schools. More than 11 states have responded. The budget from states is for them to work on physical infrastructure such as fencing state schools and put other control measures.’’