THE Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened to shut down schools nationwide over the recurring abduction of students and teachers by bandits.
National President of NUT, Dr Nasir Idris while reacting to the recent spate of attacks on schools and abduction of teachers and students, warned that an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the NUT would soon be called to take a position on the next line of action.
He urged the Federal Government to without delay provide security in all schools across the country, adding that with what is happening, parents would be demoralised to send their children to schools where their safety could not be guaranteed.
He said it was unfortunate that banditry and kidnapping have become a lucrative business for the criminals, and that the lives of students and teachers were no longer safe.
Idris called for full implementation of the Safe School Initiative which was designed to provide protection for schools including fencing of schools, provision of security and other safety measures.
He lamented that government went to sleep over a programme that would have by now extended to all the schools in the country, not limited to the Northeast part of the country.
He said: “These abductions here and there are deliberate steps to discourage education and encourage school drop out.
“It is unfortunate that schools have now become soft targets and we appear helpless. You can see that by targeting boys-only schools and girls-only schools; their aim is to discourage both male and female from going to school.”
Idris said the NUT would shut down schools nationwide if it becomes unsafe for teachers and students to be in schools.
He faulted the Zamfara State governor for saying his amnesty programme to bandits was working.
He advised the Federal Government to prioritise security in schools, saying all the schools should be fenced and the walls high so that anybody who manages to scale it would do that in a way that he would make noise that would attract the attention of security people.
“Also, schools should have military and local vigilantes guarding them. The local vigilantes would help provide necessary security information and tips for the military to work on in line with the safe school initiative”.