The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), a coalition of over 70 labour and civil society organisations has called on citizens to mount constant pressure on the Nigerian government to ensure it takes urgent steps to rescue the remaining students of the Greenfield University and other abducted students in the illegal custody of bandits and terrorists
The coalition also called on the federal government and the various state governments to acquire vital security gadgets to track criminal gangs terrorising unarmed citizens just as the US government utilised the necessary technology to rescue its citizen in northcentral Niger state after he was kidnapped in neighbouring Niger Republic.
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria and interim chairman of the coalition, in a statement on Sunday said the increasing wave of youth unemployment and mass poverty are at the root of the now uncontrollable insecurity and called on the Nigerian government to frontally address the problem.
“Our hearts go to the parents and family members of the students who have been brutally murdered by one of the several gangs of bandits operating without any serious challenge in many states in the North West Zone,” Mr Falana said in the statement.
He continued: “As usual, both the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government have perfunctorily condemned the reckless killing of the students. The official condemnation is not enough. The Governments must take urgent steps to rescue the remaining students of the Greenfield University and other abducted students who are currently languishing in the illegal custody of bandits and terrorists, including the chibok and Dapchi girls.
“A few months ago, an American national was kidnapped in Niger Republic by some bandits. With the aid of drones the United States Government, with clinical precision , located the den of the bandits where the abductee was held. In total disregard for the Sovereignty of the Nigerian State, a detachment of troops landed in Niger State and rescued the abducted American.
“Instead of only engaging in occasional expression of sympathy with families of abducted victims who are often killed by bandits and terrorists, the Federal Government and the various State Governments should acquire vital security gadgets to track criminal gangs that are terrorising unarmed citizens. Since the Federal and Kaduna State Governments should bear full responsibility for the barbaric murder of the unarmed undergraduates and other citizens by criminal elements official wailing is no longer acceptable.
“In view of the worsening insecurity in the country we are compelled to call on the Nigerian people to mount pressure on the governments to secure the life and property of every person in Nigeria.
“It should be fully appreciated that the increasing wave of youth unemployment and mass poverty are at the root of now uncontrollable insecurity and should be frontally addressed by the governments. As a matter of urgency, the 14 million out-of-school children should be removed from the streets and enrolled in schools without any further delay.
“At the same time, a programme of employment or unemployment allowance should be instituted. All fraudulently privatized enterprises should be reversed as recommended by the Senate Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Lawan (now SenatePresident) in 2011.
“The N75 billion earmarked for youth investment fund should be increased sufficiently to combat youth unemployment in the country. The state universities that have embarked on the proliferation of tertiary institutions should equally invest in youth employment.
“We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to resist the mass sack of workers fuelling insecurity in Kaduna State. The Labour unions should also pressurise the Government to adopt measures that will facilitate the rescue the abducted victims.”
By Abel Ejikeme