Nigerian Government urged to protect Unity Schools

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

Education Stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to address underlying reasons for increasing frequency of fatal attacks on School Children in Unity Schools.

Unity Schools Old Students Association made the call in Abuja while addressing journalists on recent killings of two students in Federal Government College, Okposi.

The Association led by its President General, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, said there is a need for the Federal government to urgently address issues of perimeter security of unity Schools, quality pastoral care and unsettled Land boundaries to end the increasing of fatal attacks on federal government colleges.

“in many cases ,the land on which many Unity schools are established is poorly demarcated, as a result school lands are not fully surveyed many schools suffer dangerous encroachment on their premises and results to injuries to staff and students”

“absence of perimeter security makes it difficult to control unlawful or unauthorised access to our schools and even to to the children”

Odinkalu added that the trend of unresolved attacks endangers the attainment of the goal 4 of Education for All in the sustainable Development Goals to which Nigeria signed.

“it makes parents unwilling to allow their children explore the incredibly rich diversity of Nigeria, which is why the Unity Schools were created in the first place, these killings therefore endanger education in our country”

“no one has been held accountable for the attacks on FGC kano and FGC Bunu Yadi ,USOSA expects and will insist that this pattern will not be repeated in these most recent killings”

Speaking on the recent development in Federal government college Okposi, USOSA says it is willing to give bounty to anyone who has useful information on the killers of the two J.S 3 students who were gruesomely murdered after their exams.

“USOSA will incentify anybody who have information on this sad events but we the bounty will be made known by the Nigeria Police Force after investigations, we are currently liaising with police leadership at the National level while the Old Students Of Federal government college of Okposi are in talks with the Commissioner of police in the state”

“we called this Conference to put an end to tye circle of impunity over the killings of federal government college students”

“USOSA wishes to appeal to any Nigeria, including members of the Okposi community who may have any information or who may have seen what happened to Tochukwu and Chukwuemeka to please come forward  with such information and help the Nigeria Police Force solve these crimes”

Professor Odinkalu emphasised that only policy attention can address issues of perimeter security (fencing ).

He stressed further that addressing these issues requires partnership between the government, the school authorities, PTAs and Old students.

“USOSA will establish immediate liasion with the federal ministry of education in order to establish an inventory of relevant deficits in all federal government colleges.

Also speaking at the Briefing, the Former Minister of Information and a member of USOSA , Frank Nweke Jnr. said all Children in Nigeria have a right to education and must be provided with right environment.

“It’s most basic responsibility of any government to protect and assure safety and security of students in schools.

On Thursday 19th May, two Junior Secondary School  students by names Tochukwu Ene and Chukwuemeka ,of Federal government college Okposi ,left their school premises without permission of the authorities, into the community reportedly to get a haircut ahead of departing for home on Friday 20th May . The remains of the two students were found in the atta stream behind Okposi after they had been gruesomely murdered by unknown people.

USOSA is the Unity School old Students Association which consists old students of the 104 federal government colleges in Nigeria.