By Grace Udofia
As some Nigerian state governors announce the closure of schools in the wake of kidnappings in the region, Human Rights Advocate, Abdul Mahmud has described the move as a sign of desperation on the part of government, and is not likely to solve the problem.
Mahmud who is also the President, Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL) in a chat with The Heritage Times on Monday, described the decision of some governors as one that does not address the problem of insecurity in these schools, but will only further delay attacks on the suspecting children.
He therefore called on the Nigerian government to instead address the issues that have given rise to banditry across the northern states, particularly the porous nature of the country’s borders.
“Again, our innocent kids and parents have become the unfortunate victims of the irresponsibility of this government.
“Think of the many students and pupils who may miss NECO and national Common entrance examinations; think of the north-south educational gap that will be further widened by the closure.
“The closure of schools doesn’t address the problem of insecurity; what it does is kicking the can further down the road. The problem will still subsist if the causes are not addressed. What are the causes?
“The incendiary character that fundamentalist Islamism is taking in the north is one, another cause is the deepening poverty, and the porous nature of our northern borders with Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon, is another cause.
“We can’t leave our borders so porous with the deepening level of Islamic conflicts in the Sahel. Why can’t we learn from Pakistan that fenced off itself from Afghanistan, in spite of the topography of the border land? Why?
“If the closure is short term, one can applaud the government but it is a desperate action by a government that has no solution to our increasing national security challenges,” he said.
Recall that only recently, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai announced the temporary closure of all schools in the state over the state of insecurity.
Also, the Zamfara State Government five days ago, ordered the closure of all schools in the state with immediate effect as a measure to curb kidnapping of school children.
The Commissioner of Police who convened the governor’s information said the schools will remain shut indefinitely.