Worried by the recurring cases of attacks and violence in schools across Nigeria, despite measures deployed in confronting the menace, Commandant General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni ofr has restated the need for effective synergy and collaboration from all stakeholders including the Federal, State and Local Governments, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report.
The CG who made the call in a remark at the closing ceremony of a capacity building Programme for Safe Schools Response Team comprising personnel of the NSCDC, Vigilante Groups and operatives of Private Guard Companies from the seven states in the North- West Geopolitical zone held at Correctional Service Staff College Barnawa-Kaduna, also reiterated that states and local governments in the zone should support the safe Schools project.
Represented by Assistant Commandant General, Training and Manpower, ACG David Abi fsi, he explained that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the establishment of the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC), provides for such assistance.
In his words, it is also pertinent to state that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)of the Centre provides for creation of State Coordinating Centres and Local Government Response Centres for effective and seamless operation.
Continuing he maintained, “it is for this singular fact the I respectfully present on behalf of the Centre the request for the kind consideration for allocation of an existing structure within each of the State Capitals in the Northwest to serve as the Safe School Coordination Centres.”
The NSCDC boss who acknowledged invaluable contributions of communities with regards to credible information sharing immediately directed State Commandants to deploy undercover personnel to schools.
I therefore direct all State Commandants to immediately deploy undercover agents to schools and host communities. The officers should work in collaboration with Ministries of Education at State Levels and Local Government Education Authorities at grassroots level, the CG added.
He charged all participants to note the enormous task ahead, reminding them of their status and roles as ambassadors of the Centre and the foot soldiers respectively who are in direct contact with the members of schools and host communities.
He stressed, “you are also expected to exhibit high sense of professionalism and dedication and to ensure effective synergy with other stakeholders if you are to achieve the desired result.”
On his part, Commander of the National safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC), CSC Tersoo Shaapera, PhD, while giving an overview of the centre which was established on 13th February, 2023, explained that it focuses most on preventive measures.
Also speaking in a keynote address, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, said security is important for the development of the country.
The Governor who was represented by the Administrator, Kaduna Capital Territory, Mr Samuel Aruwan, decried that the state has had its bad experience in abduction and kidnapping in schools, but expressed hope in the safe Schools implementation programme.
The erstwhile pioneer Commissioner for Internal security and Home Affairs, further expressed optimism on the success of the programme in the state following the existing cordial working collaboration among security agencies, warning that none can succeed alone.
According to him, the training and renewed strategy would pave the way for safer schools in the state as he admonished the participants to utilise the skills acquired when deployed.
In their goodwill messages, the General Officer Commanding, 1Mechanise Division Nigerian Army, Commissioner of Police and Director, Department of State Services, assured the Corps and NSSRCC of their synergy and collaboration.
According to the GOC, the Chief of Army Staff has directed the Division to work in synergy and collaborate with all agencies, and specifically called on the Commander 1Division Garrison to oblige to calls for reinforcement by the NSCDC in order to prevent breach in security and other critical national assets.
The pilot training for over 200 participants in the North-West expected to be replicated in all Geopolitical zones, had resource persons drawn mostly from the security circle and the academia.
CSC Babawale Zaid Afolabi
National Public Relations Officer
NSCDC NHQ, Abuja