Vice president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Issa Aremu, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to be more proactive in ensuring protection for schools in areas affected by the Boko Haram menace, saying panic closure of schools invariably blackmail the nation to believing that education is indeed, not needed.
“We must protect students and schools as much as we protect our political leaders. Nigeria cannot be part of 20 leading economies with hurriedly shut down schools on account of either terror attack or avoidable work-related crises. Closures of schools invariably blackmail the nation to believing that education is indeed not needed. We must protect students and schools as much as we protect our political leaders. Nigeria cannot be part of 20 leading economies with hurriedly shut down schools on account of either terror attack or avoidable work-related crises”, he said.
Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, Aremu said that their hearts grieve over the terror attack on Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, in Yobe State, in which scores of students were killed in cold blood by insurgents and scores of students abducted with their whereabouts unknown.
“While we understand the panic measure to hurriedly shut down five out of 80 unity schools, this government action is belated, reactionary and unhelpful to the good intention of transformation agenda in education. Why would government not proactively avoid the killing of these innocent students in the first instance? Why not shut down the schools to avoid the massacre? What happens to these students? Some of the students are said to have registered for their WAEC and NECO examinations. How will they write the exams? Who will compensate them for the exams registered and not written?”
“Judging by the successful week-long celebration of the Centenary of the amalgamation, Nigeria cannot be said to be insecure. With the successful hosting of over 30 heads of government and state from Europe, America and Africa Nigeria is indeed secure. If there is the political will, there will be many ways to secure all Nigerians. What is good for centenary celebration is even more desirable for our schools!” he said.
Aremu, who is General Secretary of the Textiles Workers Union of Nigeria, argued further that if the country could provide security protection for few dignitaries, who attended the recently concluded centenary celebrations in Abuja, “we should even be more upbeat and protect unity schools that accommodate tens of thousands of students because good governance means security, service delivery for the greatest number of citizens not the few political elite”.