By; Bala B. B
After Kankara school boys kidnap episode, came the Kagara Science School abduction, and within two weeks after that ugly episode, the Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Marafa has become the next and latest victims of school invasion by armed bandits.
Welcome to Nigeria’s latest, hair raising, detestable narrations. This development may however discredit Nigeria and destroy its name and standing as a sovereign state.
Raids and invasions on schools is now the new ploy by criminal armed bandits to prove that our intelligentsia are not working and our security agencies are asleep and without any active sensors nor capacity to respond to infractions.
Like I had alerted here after the abduction of the over 344 Kankara school boys in Katsina, for which no one was wise enough to see which school was next on the line coming until Kagara Science School fell into the hands of gun bearing and trigger happy men of the bushes and forest of Nigeria’s ungoverned spaces, Nigerians were again jolted out of our nightmarish, half sleep by yet another sad to hear story of armed banditry attack at another secondary school.
The Kagara Science School invasion episode as the one before it should have been some eye opener. Some reasonable heads within government’s Think – Tanks should have thought the incidences were just sun rise period for the criminal armed bandits.
One would have expected that common sense should have been deployed by all state governments and state actors especially in the north central and parts of north west now being ravaged by armed bandits to hastily mobilise ample security details and post them to all schools with boarding facilities to keep guard against, and wade off armed bandits from such places.
But alas! Thursday was another gloomy day as unrestrained armed bandits swooped on the Government Girls’ Science Secondary School located in Jangebe area of Talata Mafara, Zamfara state in the early hours of Thursday to do their now well known onslaughts against school students, against education and against government which in the long run shows that Nigeria is at the mercies of criminal armed bandits and that our security agencies are tactlessly clueless.
Some innocent, three hundred and seventeen female students of the school were taken away after hours of smooth, unhindered operations by the bandits.
The raid and the abduction was like some Sheep being led away to a Sheep market by the masters of the game, men of the now familiar ethnic extractions.
The girls were harangued without any resistance, nor intervention by anybody whatsoever.
While the armed bandits in their show of recalcitrancy are now unrelenting, establishments are yet to find ways to rise to the challenge even as governments at all levels have appeared Lamed Ducks and sleepy watchdogs.
From Kankara school boys to Kagara science school boys just a little over a week ago and now Jangebe school girls, the count might have just began. God have mercy!
Where are we heading to if a band of illiterate, money crazy and criminals can hold the country to ransom. Each time they strike on hapless, soft targets, they asked for millions of naira to be paid to them before they could set free their victims. They even justify their attacks by insisting on what they want, in their own terms and time.
Where are the country’s corp of intelligence? Is it costly prohibitive for authorities to draft security personnel on sentinel to all schools especially those in the fringes and hinterlands to wade off such avoidable raids on our schools?
It is obvious that these bands of lawless elements are enemies of education, enemies of democracy and enemies of peace as well as enemies of the common good of all of us as a people.
It is therefore not out of point to declare war on them as well. It is clear that the only language armed bandits understand is money or war. Nigerians do not have the kind of monies armed bandits are looking for.
As it is, many families have been rendered bankrupt by armed bandits. Many business owners have been forced to close shop and many others have been thrown into destitution, squalor and penury because they had to raised millions of naira to pay for the release of their breadwinners, their loved ones, and or their closed friends.
In the overall interest of the country and what is left of it’s image, an all out onslaught should be declared against armed banditry and all related activities by criminal arms wielding groups across the country.
The dangers the country has found itself in, is that Nigeria is gradually slipping itself into a pariah state as key members of the comity of nations are blacklisting the country as an unsafe place.
We can ill afford to allow any ethnic stock within the confraternity of Nigeria to hold the rest of Nigeria captive and as preys.
States where institutions of learning with hostels and boarding facilities are located, particularly those outside city centres, should have ample security personnel deployed there on sentinel.
While this is being done, (before another school is invaded) those in authority should address the country’s ungoverned spaces, where gunmen are now kingpins and lords of the forest, bushes, caves and mountains from where they spill into communities, launch attacks on them and return with their booties which they use to strike bargains with.
Beginning from April, 14th, 2014 when 276 school girls in Chibok, Borno state were kidnapped by armed men, Nigeria has recorded six episodes of schools invasions by armed men.
In total, one thousand, one hundred and fifty seven school students were kidnapped from six schools.
One hundred and thirteen school girls at Dapchi were kidnapped by armed men on February 19th, 2018.
Last December, 344 male students at the Government Secondary School Kankara, in Katsina state were abducted.
Barely a week afterwards, some eighty students in an Islamic schools at Mahuta town in Katsina were taken captive by armed bandits.
On February 17th, this year, armed bandits struck at the Government Science Secondary School, Kagara in Niger state and took captive some 27 students beside other staffers and their families.
On 26th February this year, armed bandits swooped on the Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Marafa area of Zamfara state where they abducted 317 innocent and defenceless school girls into captivity.