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HomeAbuja NewsSafe School Initiative: FCTA Turns To Vigilantes

Safe School Initiative: FCTA Turns To Vigilantes

·        Mulls CCTVs, fencing

·        To establish agro-rangers to protect farms

By Sarah NEGEDU

As the level of insecurity across the country heightens, the FCT Administration has turned to local vigilantes to provide additional support to conventional security apparatus across schools in Abuja.

The move, the security department of the FCTA said, has become necessary following reports that fleeing bandits and kidnappers are regrouping in the fringes of the FCT.

The director, administration and finance of the department, Abdullateef Bello, at a media briefing in Abuja, explained that the though the arrangement is temporary, the measure will further enhance the Safe School Initiatives of the federal government.

“And then we’re talking of short term measures when we said we are helping them to facilitate the procurement of vigilantes to complement the effort of conventional security agencies and you remember that some of the vigilantes are equally part of the neighbourhood. They were sourced from the neighbourhood where those schools are situated so they know better.

“It is a way of establishing a relationship between the community and government when the vigilantes see anything that is beyond them they relate with the conventional security agencies to help out.”

Though reports of school attacks have been relatively minimal in the FCT, the recent attack at the Government Secondary school Yebu, Kwali has created anxiety among residents.

Recall that the vice principal, Academic, of the junior section of the school, Malam Nuhu Mohammed, was kidnapped on October 26 when heavily armed gunmen stormed the school premises.

The 52-year old school head was abducted alongside an 18-year old son of another staff of the school, Master Clement Paul Egbeji.

However, reassuring residents, the security department said it has carried out a vulnerability assessment of schools and made recommendations including the need for CCTV cameras, perimeter fence in all schools among other recommendations.

“We have recommended to the Administration the need to provide budgetary interventions in some of the lapses observed in our vulnerability assessments, which include provision of perimeter fencing for schools that are not fenced, introduction of CCTV cameras at least for premises security and then deployment of conventional security agencies as a standing structure in most of those schools.”

He added that, “It will take government a lot of funding intervention to be able to provide perimeter fencing for all those schools and I can assure you that the Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, has enjoined the education secretariat, in their budget, to provide enough funding for some of these schools in terms of provision of perimeter fencing and other basic security facilities.”

On farming communities, the director disclosed that the FCT Administration was seeking to establish agro-ranger base stations in some of the farming communities in the FCT.

“It is just a new initiative that we are building, and the idea is to help the farming communities return back to farm so that we can continue to enjoy affordable food and agricultural products like we used to enjoy in the FCT.

Reacting to questions on whether the administration was finding it difficult to contain the incidents of kidnapping in the FCT, the director noted that kidnapping was prevalent not just in the FCT.

“In fact if you compare the statistics of kidnapping activities in other states to that of the FCT, you will agree with me that the FCT is really putting enough measures to prevent or contain the menace of kidnapping.

“Don’t forget that the disseminating of banditry and kidnapping in North East, North West, is putting pressure on the fringes of FCT because people are running down so that is why we engage the G-7 initiative so that we can jointly push these people away from the FCT.”

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