Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, has asked the federal government to deploy 24-hour military protection in schools around states battling with insecurity.
On Friday night, unknown gunmen had invaded Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina state, with over 300 students reportedly missing.
In a statement on Saturday, Atiku asked the federal government to discontinue with the boarding school system until the security situation is brought under control.
The former vice president asked the government to change strategies in tackling banditry, and also declare a state of emergency in states affected by insecurity.
“The abduction of a large number of students at the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State, is a very unwelcome escalation of the spate of insecurity in the nation, one which I condemn in the strongest possible terms,” Atiku said.
“I sympathise with the parents of the abducted children and the government and people of Katsina, my adopted home state and home of my late benefactor, Tafida Shehu Musa Yar’adua. I pray for their safe return.
“While I urge our nation’s law enforcement agencies to immediately swing to action and rescue the missing students, I am nevertheless conscious of the fact that we cannot continue to be reactionary in our response to the growing insecurity in Nigeria. Something has to give.
“I therefore call on the Federal Government to immediately declare a state of emergency in states bedevilled by banditry and terrorism, for an offensive and decisive war on terror and insecurity.
“The rationale is quite simple: We cannot win the war on terror by continuing with the same strategies we have deployed over the last five years. That they have not worked is very glaring, with the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara incidence being the latest in a long line of proofs.
“If we must get better results, we must implement better strategies. Strategies that may have to include the temporary stoppage of the boarding school system, in favour of a day students approach, until the situation is brought under control. Strategies that must include 24 hours armed military guard for each school in the affected states.”
Following the attack, Aminu Masari, governor of Katsina, ordered the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools in the state.