From Fred Itua, Abuja
Residents and parents in the six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have expressed fear over growing cases abductions in various schools across the North, specifically in Niger, Zamfara and Katsina States.
FCT shares a boundary with Niger State, where boarding school students were kidnapped recently. Last year,
Parents whose children are in public boarding schools in the FCT, said unless something urgent is done, their wards maybe withdrawn, until adequate security is provided.
Though no abduction has been recorded in schools in the FCT, parents, however expressed fears that the poor infrastructure and porous security around some boarding schools in many of parts of Abuja satellite towns, were alarming and call for serious concerns.
They specifically referred to Government Secondary school (GSS), Karshi; Federal Government College, Kwali; Federal Government College, Bwari, among others. They said they were worried that boarding schools built in a isolated locations, and surrounded by mountains and forests, have no maximum perimeter fences.
Findings by Daily Sun, revealed that GSS Karshi has hundreds of students, both male and female, as boarders, but lacks a complete perimeter fence.
It was learnt that the contract for the perimeter fence was awarded since 2010, but only the outer part of it was completed, with a gate as a camouflage, while a vast part of the other side of the premises remain open and susceptible to attacks.
Mr. Jeffrey Akachukwu, one of the parents, lamented that the worst aspect of the worrisome situation, was the alleged occupation of part of the school land by Fulani herdsmen.
Akachukwu who was furious that both herdsmen and farmers were allowed by the school authority to use the school exit gate as a thoroughfare, also expressed fears that the porosity of the 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 further asked “why are herdsmen allowed to be occupying part of the school’s land? Are 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 have been worked out to beef up security around the boarding schools.
The source refused to disclose what the security arrangements entail, claiming that it was security issues that ought not be divulged.
It was also confirmed by the source, that GSS Karshi has no complete fence, because the contractor encountered an obstacle on the way, when a private individual started claiming part of the school’s property.
“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 reports, but due to the bureaucracy in government , nothing has been done,” the source added.