Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called for urgent steps to be taken to protect schoolchildren from kidnap particularly in the northern region where such incidents have become rampant.
Atiku made the call on Thursday while reacting to the latest of such kidnap episodes in Zamfara State where 73 students of Government Day Secondary school, Kaya in Maradun LGA were abducted on Wednesday.
The unfortunate incident has also been confirmed by the Zamfara Police Command with the addition that security agents have gone after the perpetrators.
But reacting to the abduction, Atiku who wrote on Twitter said if the situation is not urgently addressed, the northern region will continue to lag behind in the education of children compared to other regions.
“I am saddened by reports of yet another abduction of students in Zamfara. For a region that’s playing catch-up in the critical area of education, this continued assault on the bedrock of our development is not acceptable,” he wrote.
He also recommended the government sets up a special protection unit charged with the safety of the schools and the school children alone to forestall such attacks in the future.
“Perhaps the time has come to have a School Protection Standby Unit deployed exclusively to protect schools in areas prone to these attacks. If we don’t take preemptive actions, I fear that education in the already disadvantaged regions may suffer irreversible losses.”
“Meanwhile, I hope that no effort will be spared for a speedy recovery of the students,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Governor Bello Matawalle-led Zamfara State Government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in all 14 local government areas in the state.
Naija News reports that the Zamfara government also closed schools, both private and public, operating in all the local governments in the state.
The curfew is from eight o’clock in the evening to seven o’clock in the morning.
“The move, according to authorities, is to control the rising cases of banditry and kidnapping in the state,” it said.