Former lawmaker condemns rising school kidnapping as bad omen for education

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A former member of the House of Representatives, Joseph Akinlaja, on Sunday in Akure condemned rising kidnap of school children in parts of the country.

Speaking at the inauguration of Ondo State chapter of the Youth Assembly of Nigeria (YAN) and Peace Corps, Akinlaja said the trend signposted a bad omen for the country’s educational system.

The former lawmaker, who represented Ondo East/West Federal Constituency from 2011 to 2019, said he was worried by the high rate of kidnapping and killings in schools.

“I believe that our generation has failed to do what we were supposed to do to reduce crime, because we allow injustice to prevail; peace is not the absence of war, but the absence of justice.

“Children can no longer go to boarding house. I am very worried and concerned that the idea of Boko Haram that was not clear to us at the beginning is beginning to manifest. I am told Boko Haram is `no to Western education’, I thought they were joking.

“When people can no longer stay in school and people are withdrawing their children, Western education is becoming a taboo. Leadership is a problem in Nigeria and as a leader, I must be here to talk to them,’’ he said.

Akinlaja, former Deputy President of the NLC said it was highly disturbing that schools were no longer safe in some states.

Guest Speaker at the event, Mr Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, said the establishment of peace clubs in various schools would help to inculcate peaceful lifestyle in children and ultimately promote peace in the society.

The event gave speakers the opportunity to examine issues affecting the country’s education system.

Mr Shuaibu Sani, National Speaker of YAN noted that security challenges facing the country, especially in the northern parts, were very unfortunate.

Sani said security should not be left in the hands of the government alone, adding that it was not time to trade blames, but time for all stakeholders in the Nigeria project to unite to chart a course on how to tackle insecurity.

“Issues of justice, equity and fairness must be upheld if we want to get it right in this country.

“We must accord premium to education. When we say accord premium to education, it means qualitative and accessible education should be given utmost priority.

“An enabling environment must be created for youths to be economically empowered.

“We should not be reactive. We must be proactive; that is what YAN is doing starting from the kindergarten level by catching them young so as to have a meaningful and safe society,’’ he stressed.

The newly inaugurated Speaker of Ondo State Chapter of YAN, Mr Victor Oguntoyinbo, said the importance of peace could not be over emphasised and added that it should be engraved in minds from tender ages. (NAN)