The Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities have both faulted the Federal Government’s attitude towards the incessant kidnappings of students and officials of tertiary institutions across the country.
Recall that some institutions, including Olabisi Onabanjo,Ogun State, Greenfield University, Kaduna, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka, Kaduna, to mention afew were schools from which gunmen kidnapped some of their students recently.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview with The PUNCH said it was unfortunate that the schools and tertiary institutions were becoming prime targets for kidnappers, bandits, and terrorists.
“Kidnapping and killing of innocent children, youths or any citizen for that matter is an act of barbarism which must be condemned by all progress-loving people. However, Nigerian government at all levels should double their efforts to address the problem right from its roots. Our union believes that the increasing level of poverty, joblessness and misrule are responsible for the widespread insecurity in the country.
He suggested that there was the need to pay more attention to the quality of life of the people and show deeper concern for the growing army of the unemployed and underemployed youths.
“Until and unless governance in Nigeria is recalibrated to discourage primitive accumulation, ostentatious lifestyle and anti-people’s policies and programmes, we cannot wriggle out of the insecurity conundrum,” he advised.
In the same vein, the President of SSANU, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, security apparatus for tertiary institutions in the country, adding that they should be licensed to carry guns.
“For us in the education sector, this is the worst that has happened. If you are within a university community you feel you are in a safe environment but it is no longer so, nowhere is safe.
“The security system in education system must be fortified for people to have confidence in the system, because these elements especially those from north are saying they don’t believe in western education and they want to do everything to stifle the development, enlightenment people are getting from education. They are putting fear in the minds of people and before you know it, they will stop going to school. If this happens, where will you deploy these youths?
“If it means they have to employ their own security apparatus which will be licensed to carry guns they should be allowed to do so, this will give those living on campus a respite. We have been told that the number of police we have in Nigeria cannot serve us,” he said.