Education

Benue varsity abduction: Atiku renews call for state of emergency on education

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has renewed his call for a state of emergency to be declared on the country’s education sector.

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Atiku renewed his call following the abduction of some students from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM), Benue state, by gunmen.

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Three students of the university were abducted on Saturday.

In some Twitter posts on Tuesday, the former vice-president said the kidnapping of the students is “one abduction too many”, adding that measures must be put in place to prevent future occurrences.

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“This must not be allowed to become our new normal. It is time for us as a nation to face the reality that we have an emergency on our hands. A catastrophe that must be decisively dealt with before it snowballs into an existential crisis,” he tweeted.

“We must stop treating these acts of criminality with kid gloves. Enough is enough! There must be the safety of lives and property in our citadels of learning.

“Without it, there would be a loss of confidence in the sector, which will result in low enrolment rates in a country that is already the world headquarters for out of school children.

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“This is all the more reason why I have maintained in the past that impunity must give way to punitive measures. When criminals profit from their criminality, crime will increase.

“The only response from all governments in Nigeria to acts of abduction, kidnapping and unlawful detention of persons ought to be to bring the full weight of the law on the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

“Once these criminals have clarity on what awaits them should they toe such evils paths, then their audacity to commit evil will be weakened, and gradually, this ugly chapter in our national life will become a thing of the past.

“I renew the call I made on Monday, March 15, 2021, for a state of emergency to be declared in the education sector and for 24 hour armed guards to be posted at all schools in the affected states.”

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The former vice-president said the measure is expensive but needed in preserving lives and property.

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Atiku first made the call for a state of emergency in March after some pupils from a UBE primary school were abducted at Rama in Birnin-Gwari LGA of Kaduna state.

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