Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State yesterday said serious investment in technology would secure schools from bandits’ onslaught in the country.
His call was a sequel to the increased attacks on schools by bandits in recent times.
The latest was the invasion of UBE school in Rama, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, during which three teachers were kidnapped.
Before this, the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka, Kaduna, was also attacked, with more than 30 students abducted.
In both instances, the kidnapped victims are still in the custody of the bandits.
Speaking on a live television programme yesterday, Fayemi said bandits were not invincible, explaining that they could be traced, and as such, with the right measures in place, schools across the country could be secure.
“We need to at least take some basic precautionary measures by providing — across the length and breadth of our country — schools with perimeter fences. We can also put vigilante, security operatives in those schools,” he said.
“But more than anything else, we need to invest in technology, because these people are not ghosts — those who are responsible for this. We know where they are. People can track them, but somehow, we appear a little bit handicapped in responding effectively to the menace of criminals and bandits in the country. Instead, we’ve provided silly excuses by attaching it to the ethnicity of whoever is culpable, rather than focusing on the crime committed.”
He also spoke on the activities of the Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun, stating that operatives were not able to function optimally because they’re not allowed to carry weapons.
He added that if there’s fear that state or local police would misuse their power, measures should be put in place to check it.
“States ultimately may need to take greater charge of security within their own jurisdiction. Some of us, and the Nigerian Governor’s Forum specifically, have argued consistently in the past, that we need multi-level policing in this country, and multilevel policing for us is not a revocation of federal police,” he said.
“It is a complimentary level of police in addition to federal police. When you do that, you would also not have a situation in which there is no trust. You need to have mechanisms to deal with aberrant usage of local or state police. We have the Nigerian police council which hardly functions.
“Amotekun is working, but it’s not working optimally because they’re not even allowed to carry weapons. So, what’s the use of an Amotekun that cannot confront a kidnapper in the bush because the kidnapper is carrying an AK-47 and he’s carrying a stick? Let’s be real; it’s not going to work.
“As an intelligence officer, if you’re targeted because they know you’re the one providing information to the mainstream security agencies, you’re under threat.”