Controversies have trailed the abduction of dozens of schoolboys, teachers and their relatives in Niger State.
A spokesperson for the Niger state government said 27 students, three teachers and a dozen family members of school staff, 42 people in total, were taken. Earlier reports had indicated hundreds were missing from the school of about 1,000 students.
Heavily armed gunmen dressed in military uniforms overran the all-boys Government Science College (GSC) in Kagara Town, Niger state, between Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, killing at least one student.
The attack is thought to have been carried out by suspected armed groups known as “bandits” that have terrorised north-west and central Nigeria in recent years. The groups have launched marauding attacks from forest havens which span across north-west Nigeria into neighbouring Niger, terrorising vulnerable rural communities left helpless by a dearth of security.
Following the development, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) threatened to withdraw all teachers’ services in the affected states of the federation due to insecurity in the country.
NUT in a statement tagged:” Terrorist Attack on Schools and Abduction of Students/Teachers One Incident Too Many”, signed by its General Secretary, Dr Mike Ike Ene, advised the federal government to adopt a different approach in tackling insecurity in the country.
The Union expressed worries over the increasing state of insecurity in Nigeria, stressing that schools are fast becoming a danger spot for bandits and other criminal elements in Nigeria.
NUT said this as they condemned the abduction of students and teachers of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, in Niger State by bandits.
The union demanded a state of emergency be declared on security, adding that the current approach being deployed by security agencies was not yielding any meaningful fruit.
“We call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency declare a state of emergency on the security situation in the country.
““We must warn that if the security situation in our schools and colleges is not guaranteed, the NUT will not hesitate to withdraw the services of all teachers in the affected states of the federation.”
NUT opined that the current strategy deployed by security agencies has fallen short of expectation considering that the Kagara abduction has just occurred while the nation is yet to fully contend with the December, 2020 abduction of students in Government Science Secondary School Kankara Katsina state.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a military operation to rescue the schoolboys while the Niger State government has ordered the closure of boarding schools in the state.