How NSCDC foiled 48 bandit attacks on schools – Commandant-General
The Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi, says the agency has averted over 48 attack attempts on schools nationwide by bandits.
He said the newly implemented security strategies of the NSCDC would see a drastic reduction in the cases of school attacks by bandits.
The PUNCH reports that bandits have on many occasions attacked schools, especially in the north, and abducted students.
Bandits, on September 20, 2023, abducted 24 female students of the Federal University Gusau in Zamfara State.
In April 2014, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the Government Secondary in Chibok, Borno State and abducted 276 students.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja, the NSCDC said because schools were classified as critical infrastructure, the NSCDC was tasked to head the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre to check the menace.
Audi said, “The centre, through the Rapid Response Squad that was established nationwide, has averted over 48 attack attempts on schools nationwide.”
He said there were plans to tackle the attacks on schools from the grassroots level.
“Part of our strategies is to actually concentrate on background issues that cause this asymmetric conflict as we plan to emphasise more on the non-kinetic approaches.
This approach involves cautioning Nigerians, interactively engaging with community leaders, its members, schoolchildren and their teachers so that they will be aware as well as be able to identify suspicious movements.
“This will enable them to know when to call the attention of the government as well as provide timely information so that together we will nip this problem in the bud; if you see something, say it,” Audi said.
According to him, bandits have attacked schools, students, and teachers and destroyed schools’ infrastructure to disorganise and cause very debilitating and devastating effects on the nation.
Audi said in view of this, the corps had decided to engage the Nigeria Governors’ Forum during the first quarter to sensitise them to the need to establish security response centres in their states.
“We want to express ourselves and tell them our concerns by making them know the importance of having a state response centre for safer schools.
“We have already entered into discussion with state governments,” he said.
He said some states – Benue, Nasarawa, Rivers, and Kano, among others – had responded by providing coordination centres to promote safer schools.
“For states that have yet to respond, I am sure that after the engagement they will respond because this is of national interest,” he said.