On Saturday the 24th of April, President Muhammadu Buhari while reacting to the news of kidnapped students of Greenfield University stated that the FG will continue the fight against banditry and urged Nigerians to show empathy and come together as a society.
“These recurring kidnappings and killings, in Kaduna State in particular, are barbaric terror attacks. We are determined to continue fighting all forms of banditry, kidnapping and criminality with maximum will and with all the resources available to our country,” he added
However, these promises sound too familiar, as Nigeria has experienced mass school kidnappings before the Greenfield incident this year alone including:
- 17th February 2021 – Kagara Kidnapping – 27 boys
- 26th February 2021 – Jangebe Government Girls’ Secondary School – 317 girls
- 11th March 2021- Afaka kidnapping, Federal College of Forestry Mechanization
After the Jangebe kidnapping, the President warned that State Governments must review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles as such a policy had the potential to backfire with disastrous consequences. “States and Local Governments must also play their part by being proactive in improving security in and around school,” he stated.
After the release of the girls was confirmed, Buhari stated that the federal government is “working hard to bring an end to these grim and heartbreaking incidents of kidnapping. The Military and the Police will continue to go after kidnappers. They need the support of local communities in terms of human intelligence that can help nip criminal plans in the bud.”
The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, stated that schools should be built near Military facilities to prevent further kidnapping incident, citing that the state government has studied patterns of abduction in Kaduna and Zamfara, and come to the conclusion along with the armed forces that if the army, air force and navy special forces can get to the location of the schools within 30 minutes, bandit operations can be foiled.
“In our view in Kaduna, first (way to address the situation) is to ensure that schools are fenced, because, unless we fence schools, we will give easy access to criminals. So, fencing schools is very important, and that’s a budgetary item; you need money to build fences,” he said.
The second is to have enough (security operatives) on ground. We must have more civil defence (officers), more private security guards, more vigilante people in the schools, and watchtowers so that any threat of abduction can be seen in good time so that you can call for help.
The third is to look at schools and to ensure that they are located no farther than 30 minutes from military installations because what we are facing with the bandits is beyond the capacity of civil defence and police. We need the army, the air force and navy special forces,” he added.
The State Governors have recently called for the implementation of state police to give them more leverage in dealing with insecurity. Doing this requires reforms and these reforms are impossible without the National Assembly pushing for and implementing a constitutional amendment.