Barely 125 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari rescinded his decision to honour the invitation to brief the House of Representatives on the state of security in the country, the Parliamentarians for the umpteenth time, reiterated the call for immediate review the security architecture of the country because of their seeming demonstration of diminishing returns.
In the same vein, the lawmakers who frowned at the unabated spate of insecurity of lives and property across the country tasked Buhari’s administration on the urgent need to ensure the safe return of the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents since 2014.
The resolution was passed during Tuesday plenary, after the adoption of a motion of matters of urgent importance titled ‘Call on the Federal Government to urgently bring to a total control, the attacks on educational institutions, insurgency, banditry and kidnappings across the country,’ sponsored by Hon Samaila Suleiman.
In his lead debate, Hon Suleiman expressed grave concern over the kidnapping of 276 female students of Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State since April 2014; the murder of dozens of students at the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State in February 2014; kidnap of 110 school girls aged between 11-19 years from the
Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State in February 2018; as well as attacks on Babington Junior Secondary School, Ikorodu, Lagos State, Turkish International Secondary School, Isheri in Ogun State, Lagos State Senior Model College, lgbonia in Lagos State and Government Girls Secondary School, Moriki in Zamfara
State; and recent kidnap of hundreds of students from Government Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State by bandits, without any meaningful efforts made so far.
He said: “The House is further aware that Zabarmari, Beni Sheik, Potiskum Market and a host of other places In the North East were attacked, resulting in the cold-blooded murder and abduction of innocent Nigerians.
“The House is concerned by numerous reports of kidnappings and bandit attacks in Kaduna State, Niger State, Zamfara State, Sokoto State, Katsina State and a host of other places too numerous to mention. The House is saddened that till date, about 112 Chibok schoolgirls are still missing. The House is also saddened that 2 years after, one of the Dapchi girls,’ Leah Sharibu is still in captivity.
“The House is worried that the attacks and kidnappings have taken such a dangerous dimension that the security agencies seem to be overwhelmed. The House also warned that the incessant attacks on communities schools and in fact, education itself is tragic consequences of a protracted security challenge that has left the country traumatised.
“The House is further worried that more educational facilities are being threatened by bandits and Boko Haram, leading to the closure .of most schools and depriving hundreds of thousands of children of education.
“The House is disturbed ‘that the security challenges in the country, particularly in the North, are backsliding into the former state of affairs before the coming of this Administration in 2015. The House is also disturbed that despite efforts of the security Chiefs, they seem to be losing the aggregate public opinion in the country.
“The House is cognizant that schools must remain safe places and the Federal Government must ensure that they are free from conflicts and violence. The House is also cognizant that attacks on schools, is a violation of humanity and basic decency, therefore ‘the Federal Government must put a stop to the senseless attacks on the hopes and dreams of a generation of children.
“The House is informed that in March 2019, the Federal Government ratified the Safe Schools Declaration to support the protection of students, teachers and schools from attacks during times of any kind of armed conflict,” he noted.
In the bid to halt the spate of school children out of school which was estimated at over 13.2 million by the UNICEF survey, the House urged President Buhari’s administration to expedite action on the safe return of all abducted school children, from the incidents of Chibok to the most recent one at Kankara town in Katsina State.
To this end, the House urged Federal Government to urgently implement the Safe Schools Declaration to protect children and teachers from attacks in schools and ensure that their education continues without hindrance at all times and forward the Safe Schools Declaration to the National Assembly for ratification and domestication.
Five days after Buhari shuns parliament’s invitation, Reps renew call for review of security architecture