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Abduction fear negatively affecting education – Agwai

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A former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Martin Luther Agwai (retd.), has said the fear of being abducted is creating trauma in teachers and students and having a negative impact on the nation’s education sector.

The former CDS also noted that the success of the Safe School Initiative, a programme initiated by the Federal Government in 2023 to protect public schools at risk of terrorist attacks, “depends on the collective responsibility of stakeholders and citizens by taking ownership and providing intelligence to security agencies”.

Agwai said this in a keynote address he delivered at the Armed Forces Safe School Summit and the launch of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Safe Schools at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre in Abuja.

The ex-CDS said the move reflected the Armed Forces’ collective commitment to upholding the sanctity of education and creating an environment conducive for teaching and learning.

He said though the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was the lead agency for such a task, the military could intervene when it is beyond the capacity of the primary actors.

Agwai said: “However, I feel all security agencies have important roles to play towards the successful eradication of this menace of kidnapping and general insecurity, especially the Nigeria Police Force, in view of the fact that at the moment it is only them that have prosecuting powers.

“This again must be done in a quick manner as time is of the essence in order to overcome such a challenge”.

The ex-CDS urged school authorities to adopt the strategy of building confidence in learners by providing them with some safety skills that would assist them in case of any emergency.

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