By Mukhtar Muhammed
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) condemned the abduction of the female students and urged the Federal Government to rejig Nigeria’s security architecture and come up with new multi-pronged containment strategies against security and related existential threats bedeviling schools and communities.
ACF has equally observed that the abduction of female University students in Zamfara State has far reaching negative implications on access to education for the girl-child.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Tukur Muhammad Baba, ACF called on the Federal Government to spare no efforts in ensuring that the abducted students are released unharmed forthwith.
According to the ACF, “it is with utter consternation that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) received news about the abduction of mostly female students of the Federal University Gusau (FUGUS), from their private hostels, at Sabon Gida Village, Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State.”
“Although official information about the incidence is scanty, relative to the enormity of the incidence, personal testimonies from witnesses to the disturbing incident suggest that the attack was well planned, coordinated and executed by the bandits/terrorists.
Evidently, female students were specifically targeted and the bandits were at the crime scene fully prepared. Efforts to repel the bandits by elements of the Nigerian Army neither deterred nor stopped the bandits from going off with a yet-to-be fully ascertained number of hapless victims.”
“ACF condemns the abductions in the strongest of terms. It is very disconcerting that such a most unfortunate criminal incident is not the first of its kind in memory but it certainly is one abduction far too many to occur in any community in Nigeria, nor elsewhere in the world.”
“For ACF, the incident is even more worrisome, being of far reaching negative implications, among many others, for access to education which, especially for the girl-child, is subject to many formidable challenges in the best of times.”
“A pointer to the unfolding tragedy is in an apparent voice note on social media where a girl was heard stating that her father had called her home, ordering that her pursuit of a university degree be abandoned; another was heard advising intending candidates for admission not to select this particular institution as place of choice. This is an absolutely and highly regrettable development to be condemned in all its ramifications.”
“ACF therefore: Commiserates with the victims of the attack, their parents and FUGUS; Calls for and prays for the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted students unharmed; Commends the security forces for their gallant response, even if ineffective in stopping the bandits in their sordid mission. ACF calls on the security forces not to relent in the efforts to contain banditry and terrorism in Zamfara State and elsewhere in the country.”
The ACF commended the Zamfara State Government for its timely and quick response to the situation through a high-powered delegation on a confidence-building visit to the scene to commiserate and reassure the community about the Government’s commitment to citizens’ safety and security.
“As well, ACF commends the Zamfara State Government for immediately convening a meeting with the security agencies to review the situation and re-strategize; and finally.”
“ACF calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to spare no efforts in ensuring that the abducted students are released unharmed forthwith.”
“ACF urges the FGN to rejig Nigeria’s security architecture and to come up with new multi-pronged containment strategies against security and related existential threats bedeviling schools and indeed all communities. Such new strategies should aim at the total eradication of the scourge of banditry and terrorism country-wide.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement added.