There would certainly be no offence taken if one has lost count of the number of times schools have been attacked and students kidnapped in the last one year. The condition has deteriorated to the extent that students abducted from one school would still be atop news trends before another one happens.
A rough estimate of the number of students abducted between December 2020 and now would be close to 2,000. Even though a significant percentage of them have been released, whether by government intervention or the initiative of the parents, some are still languishing in the den of kidnappers, and the hopes of getting back is becoming dimmer with each passing day.
The latest development in what appears to have metamorphosed into a full-blown industry is the kidnap of about 140 students from Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, in the early hours of Monday, July 5th. This would be the fourth time case of a mass abduction in Kaduna State over the past six months and it remains to be seen when Northern governors would call for emergency and decisive meetings, the way Southern governors converged on Lagos on Monday, among previous instances.
More importantly, this surge in the rampancy of kidnapping, banditry and insecurity generally has led to repeated calls for state police, which was part of the issues discussed by the Southern governors in Lagos. To wait on the directive of the President before orders can be issued to security agencies across the 36 states of the federation is something that needs to change urgently.
In what will look like the federalism Nigeria practises in theory, each state and region will be responsible for its complete welfare, without having to wait on the Federal Government to give a directive, especially with the seeming inefficiency of a reported estimate of 372,000 officers of the Nigeria Police Force to safeguard lives and properties of over 200 million people. Each state would then know how to bolster its capacity.
The Kaduna incident is already one too many, and it’s time states have their security destiny in their hands.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.