By Romanus Okoye
Security expert, Dr Ona Ekhomu, has condemned the poor handling of the abduction of 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, alleging that the government officials were not sensitive to the immense physiological, psychological and emotional stress which the parents of the students underwent during their 57 days in captivity.
Dr Ekhomu said: “Every moment of the 57 days of their captivity was filled with dread, terror and anticipation of what was happening and whether the students would be released alive.
“Parents were sleep-deprived, suffered from insomnia and had nightmares, particularly, after the unprovoked murder of five students of Greenfield University Kaduna, by another group of bandits/terrorists who I suspect was Boko Haram-linked Ansaru. One of the parents of the Afaka abducted students died of heart attack as a result of the kidnap incident.”
The security expert, therefore, urged governments in Nigeria to develop kidnap contingency plans. He said that the contingency plans would anticipate and resolve the non-military and non-law enforcement aspects of mass abduction of school students.
In a press release issued in Lagos, Dr Ekhomu who is National President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), said that the incompetent and tone-deaf emergency response by Kaduna State officials caused severe mental stress for the parents. He said that the Kaduna authorities were not forthcoming with information for the families and did not show adequate empathy.
The security expert said that since school abductions had become quite frequent, government should create Crisis Management Teams (CMTs) to respond to school abductions or other critical incidents.