Abuja parents in fear over school abductions

By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

The persistent kidnapping of students in some parts of the north and worsening insecurity across the country have heightened fear among parents with kids in public boarding schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Though no such incident has been recorded in the nation’s capital, parents said the poor infrastructures and porous security around some boarding schools in many of the Abuja satellite towns is alarming and calls for serious concerns.

Specifically, parents of Government Secondary School (GSS) Karshi, are worried the boarding school built in an isolated location and surrounded by bushy mountain has no perimeter fence for maximum security.

Investigation by Nairalovers revealed GSS Karshi has hundreds of boarders but lacks complete perimeter fence.

It was learnt that the contract for the perimeter fence was awarded since 2010 but only the front part of the school is completed with a gate as a camouflage.

The vast part of the back side of the premise remains unprotected and susceptible to attack.

Mr. Johnson Ayim, one of the parents, told The NATION the worst aspect of the worrisome security situation is the alleged occupation of parts of the school land by herdsmen.

Ayim, who was furious herdsmen and farmers were allowed by the school authorities to use the school exit gate as a thoroughfare, warned the porosity of environment portends dangers.

According to him: “No excuse was reasonable enough to leave a boarding school without a well secured and watched perimeter fence.

“The excuse that the school’s perimeter fence project was stalled because someone encroachment on the school’s land and is also claiming ownership was not tenable, as overriding public interest clause in Nigeria’s extant laws has taken care of that”.

He wondered: “Why are herdsmen allowed to be occupying part of the school’s land? Is the management of the school and FCT administration not seeing the mountainous forest that surround the school? Are they waiting until an evil day comes before appropriate actions are taken?”

Reacting to the development, a top management staff of FCT Education Secretariat who pleaded anonymity, said water tight arrangements has been worked out to beef up security around the boarding schools.

The source refused to disclose what the arrangements entail, claiming it was security issues that won’t be divulged.

It was also confirmed by the source that GSS Karshi has no complete fence because the contractor encountered an obstacle when a private individual started claiming part of the school’s premises.

The source said: “I cannot tell you what we are doing to secure our schools, it is a security issue, and we can’t make it public.

“As for GSS Karshi, we are making effort to complete the fence. The contractor had to stop work, when someone started claiming ownership of part of the school property.

“We have made our report but due to the bureaucracy in government, nothing has been done”.

All efforts to speak with Assistant Director (Information), Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Education Secretariat, Kabiru Musa, were futile as he did not pick his calls as at when filing this report.

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