The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale-Martins, on Saturday, joined others in calling on the Federal Government to ensure security in schools, in order to halt the spate of abductions of pupils and students in the country.
The archbishop, while expressing his concern over the kidnappings and abductions of persons in schools for ransom, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that if the situation was not halted, it would further worsen the out of school children syndrome in the country.
Adewale-Martins was speaking on the margins of an event to mark the anniversary of the church’s St. Mulumba confraternity.
The clergyman, who spoke against the backdrop of unfriendly school environments, said that Nigeria already had the world’s highest number of out-of-school children, with its attendant social impact on youths being lured into insurgency and other vices.
Adewale-Martins frowned at the abductors targeting of soft spots, saying that such unwholesome acts, if unchecked, would compel parents to withdrew their children from schools, especially the boarding schools.
According to him, the country could be toying with its future leaders that will grow into adulthood without the necessary basic education to administer the country.
“If we must get the future right there is every need for massive enrollment into schools by those young persons and to create a study friendly environment, devoid of abductors to encourage them learn.
“The continual fear being instilled in the minds of those younger people in the course of their educational pursuits is a disservice to the corporate existence of the country.
“Therefore, the leaders should act now to ensure that the security of lives and properties are paramount in policy formulations,” he said.
He added that adequate security personnel should be deployed to schools with residential facilities, in order to halt the students and pupils from being turned into easy prey.
The archbishop suggested that the government should also liaise with traditional institutions in the locations of schools, for a comprehensive security arrangement. (NAN)