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Terrorists kill over 2000 teachers in Nigeria

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By Abraham Adekunle

FHIPD Africa says 19,000 others have been displaced in eight years.

Nigeria has been battling terrorists and other related issues for decades. From Boko Haram to the Islamic States of West African Province (ISWAP) and Fulani herdsmen, many families have been affected. Thousands have been killed and millions more displaced. The chairman of Farmers Herders Initiative for Peace and Development Africa (FHIPD Africa), Salim Umar, has announced that bandits and terrorists have killed over 2,000 teachers since 2014. He said this in a paper he presented in Kaduna on November 11, 2022.

At a workshop for staff on the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) from the North Central zone, Umar said that over 19,000 teachers have also been displaced from their places of assignments, while over 1,500 schools were destroyed in the last eight years. He said that in the last 15 years, the challenges of insecurity, especially in the north, has brought new obstacles to the survival of the NCNE. He noted that banditry and kidnapping had resulted in loss of human lives and cattle, and their inability to graze or cultivate farmlands by nomads and host communities.

This development increased out-of-school children.

Umar said that this negative development has resulted in an increase in out-of-school children and a decrease in new enrolments across the board in both formal and non-formal sectors of the school system. According to him, the challenges facing the NCNE include the inability of nomadic teachers to access places of their assignments, displacement of migrant communities, occupation of nomadic schools by terrorists, conversion of schools to Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps or military zones, and threat of kidnapping among others.

The Executive Secretary of the NCNE, Prof. Bashir Usman, lamented that insecurity characterized by violent communal clashes, cattle rustling, kidnapping, banditry, and sea piracy has affected the smooth implementation of the Nomadic Education Programme (NEP). Usman said that the high level of insecurity has resulted in the complete abandonment of schools and frequent migration which is causing an increase in the high rate of out-of-school children. According to the World Bank, 22 percent of all children in Nigeria were out-of-school children.

Commission could train local communities in the future.

He said that the workshop was aimed at developing the capacity of data collectors to generate evidence-based data on the root causes of the conflict and insecurity. He said it is expected that at the end of the exercise, reliable and viable data would be generated through the interaction with local communities and other critical stakeholders on the remote and immediate causes of the conflict and insecurity. “Based on findings from the exercise, it is hoped that the commission would, in the future, train local communities on strategies to be applied in addressing the emerging challenges and response to the early warning of potential conflicts,” he said.

This would have come in handy when the Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped, even after the warning from the Federal Government about an impending kidnapping by the Boko Haram terrorist group. About 276 mostly Christian female students aged from 16 to 18 were kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School at Chibok in Bornu State. Prior to the raid, the school had been closed for four weeks due to deteriorating security conditions, but the girls were in attendance in order to take their final exams.

FG needs to be pro-active about the issue of insecurity.

Since then, several schools have been raided and girls kidnapped by terrorist groups. This has put the Northern region of Nigeria, particularly the Northeast and Northwest geopolitical zones, on red alert. The regions, which were safe to play, visit and do business in, have become places where pedestrians fear to approach. In times of necessity, people board planes to the nearest airport to their destination to avoid being kidnapped. This shows that the Federal Government needs to act fast to solve the issue of insecurity especially in the northern region.


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