Kagara abduction: we must stop rewarding criminality – Atiku
Former Vice President and 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has cautioned those in authority against granting amnesty to criminal elements.
In a press statement, Atiku condemned the abduction of students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, saying the spate of insecurity in Nigeria was now beyond alarming.
The former vice president argued that the reign of impunity must stop, adding that federal government must enforce the laws against abductions and kidnappings by apprehending the criminals, trying them and making an example of those convicted, to serve as a deterrent to others.
He called on the federal government to declare all secondary and primary schools in the affected states and zones, as Federal Protected Zones, and post armed military personnel at all schools for 24/7 protection.
Atiku was of the views that there was a need to provide the same level of security being provided for the schools that the children of the elite attend, for schools that the children of other classes of Nigerians attend.
“I condemn the abduction of students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State. The reported death of one of the students in the process of escape is heartbreaking. The thoughts of my family and I are with the parents and the authorities of the institution.
“The spate of insecurity in Nigeria is now beyond alarming. It has gotten to crisis levels, especially when it involves children and other minors” Atiku said, adding that now is not the time for fingers to point in blame.
He said Nigeria needs solutions. According to the former Vice President, it is obvious that paying ransoms and allowing criminals to profit from their criminality is not a solution.
“When you reward crimes, the result is more crime.
“The only long term solution to the insecurity challenge Nigeria is facing is to end the reign of impunity. The Federal Government must enforce the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against abductions and kidnappings, by apprehending the criminals, trying them and making an example of those convicted, to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
Atiku said Nigeria must also become proactive. “We cannot wait for these abductions to happen and then go into reactive mode.”
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to declare all secondary and primary schools in the affected states and zones, as Federal Protected Zones and post armed military personnel at all schools for 24/7 protection.
If it is not feasible to have armed military guards in all schools, he said, then each state must as a matter of urgency replicate the Civilian Joint Task Force idea, that has worked so well in Borno, and deploy them to each school, along with men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“What we must not do is do nothing. History may forgive us for making wrong decisions, but we will never be forgiven if we carry on business as usual.
“As a nation, we must be willing to provide the same level of security that we provide for the schools that the children of the elite attend, for schools that the children of other classes of Nigerians attend.
“I pray that the Kagara staff and students are rescued, and for peace to return to Nigeria,” Atiku stated.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party said it was alarmed by the recent escalation of banditry in Niger State as well as other parts of the country following the failure of the Buhari-led administration to take a decisive step to tackle the scourge.
The party also condemns the reported killing as well as the abduction of students of the Government Science Secondary School Kagara by bandits, who invaded their school.
It, therefore, tasked security forces to go after the outlaws and rescue the children.