By Myke Uzendu
Human rights lawyer and Interim Chair, Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Femi Falana SAN, has challenged the federal government to go beyond condemnation of the killing of the students of Greenfield University and ensure that all the students are safely rejoined to their parents.
Bandits had last Tuesday abducted an unknown number of students from the Greenfield University, a private varsity along Abuja-Kaduna road in Kaduna state. The abduction came few hours after Kaduna state governor, Mallan Nasiru el’Rufai boasted that he will not pay ransom to bandits even if his son was abducted.
But three lifeless bodies of the abducted students were later found. The gruesome killing of the students received wide condemnation by the federal governments as well as well meaning Nigerians.
Reacting to the development, Falana in a statement on Sunday said that government must emulate the American government that came all the way to rescue one of it’s citizens held by Boko Haram in Niger Republic boarder with Nigeria instead of resorting to lamentations.
He said that the Kaduna and Federal government should be held responsible for the death of the abducted students.
The Human rights lawyer while commiserating with the families of the deceased, stressed that government must do everything possible to quench insecurity in the country.
He said, “Our hearts go to the parents and family members of the students who have been brutally murdered by one of the several gangs of bandits operating without any serious challenge in many states in the North West Zone.
“As usual, both the Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government have perfunctorily condemned the reckless killing of the students. The official condemnation is not enough. The Governments must take urgent steps to rescue the remaining students of the Greenfield University and other abducted students who are currently languishing in the illegal custody of bandits and terrorists, including the Chibok and Dapchi girls.”
Stating how other countries took extra care to protect their Nationals from bandits, Falana stated, “with the aid of drones the United States Government, with clinical precision, located the den of the bandits where the abductee was held. In total disregard for the Sovereignty of the Nigerian State, a detachment of troops landed in Nigeria and rescued the abducted American.”
The senior lawyer said that instead of occasional expression of sympathy with families of abducted victims, the Federal Government and the various State Governments should acquire vital security gadgets to track criminal gangs that are terrorising unarmed citizens.
“The Federal and Kaduna State governments should bear full responsibility for the barbaric murder of the unarmed undergraduates and other citizens by criminal elements, official wailing is no longer acceptable.
“In view of the worsening insecurity in the country we are compelled to call on the Nigerian people to mount pressure on the governments to secure the life and property of every person in Nigeria. It should be fully appreciated that the increasing wave of youth unemployment and mass poverty are at the root of now uncontrollable insecurity and should be frontally addressed by the governments. As a matter of urgency, the 14 million out-of-school children should be removed from the streets and enrolled in schools without any further delay.
“At the same time, a programme of employment or unemployment allowance should be instituted. All fraudulently privatized enterprises should be reversed as recommended by the Senate Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Lawan (now Senate President) in 2011.
“The N75 billion earmarked for youth investment fund should be increased sufficiently to combat youth unemployment in the country. The state universities that have embarked on the proliferation of tertiary institutions should equally invest in youth employment.
“We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to resist the mass sack of workers fuelling insecurity in Kaduna State. The Labour unions should also pressurise the Government to adopt measures that will facilitate the rescue the abducted victims.”