As Nigeria is getting older in democracy and partially developed in some crucial sectors why is it that the security sector, which is the most crucial and the backbone of every development, is always our headache? The way things are going on in Nigeria, it seems its citizens should lose hope and give up on the government’s capability and responsibility of protecting their lives and properties.
There are two burning pathetic issues that arouse my attention; the story of Hanifa who was kidnapped and killed by her teacher and that of a senior student who used a razor blade and slit the throat of his junior colleague as he refused to run errands for him, which happened in Maiduguri.
I don’t know where we are heading to in this country. What do we want to achieve? Imagine how sorrowful things are occurring in schools; places where knowledge with morals are being thought, places where parents have confidence and entrusted their children to the authorities. It is unfortunate that schools in Nigeria are no longer secure for our students.
Since the issue of insecurity started to deeply bedevil Nigeria, our schools, especially in the northern part of the country, have no safety, as abduction and killings of students had happened routinely. If care is not taken, the failure of the government and community leaders to take action will result in the birth of more out-of-school children, particularly in the northern part of the country.
Since some years back, schools have been the target of insurgents, kidnappers and bandits. Now the saddest thing is that students are not even kidnapped and killed by any criminal but by their teachers whose parents have vested their trust in them and the care of their children not even free but paid for. This seems like there are few places to be safe in Nigeria! The killing of the young Hanifa is really frightening, shocking and pathetic. No doubt, the culprit deserves nothing but the maximum punishment. Justice should be served on him without any fear or favour. So also the case of the young Jubril Sadi Mato at the El-Kanemi College of Theology Maiduguri. This is a case of failure by the school’s authority to give effective supervision. Therefore, to avoid the reoccurrence of such evil incidents in our schools both private and public ones, the government should ban the practice of seniors imposing their will on junior students in secondary schools.
As the government of Borno State set a committee to investigate the incident, I hope it will come with recommendations that would give justice to this innocent boy.
Sahnoon Abdulkadir Ahmad can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org