Safe School Initiative: Kill all bandits, el-Rufai urges FG, military

 The only way to ensure the safety of Nigerian school children and indeed the entire populace is to kill all bandits, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, charged the federal government and the military, yesterday.

He spoke at the stakeholders’ dialogue on Financing Safe Schools in Nigeria, organized by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja.

He suggested that the Nigeria Air Force, which has various air platforms, including drones, should bomb all forests, currently occupied by bandits and simply eliminate them.

His words, “Nobody living in the forest is innocent and we must kill them all. The Chief of Air Staff has been doing well and this has led to a reduction in the activities of bandits in recent times. So the only way to stop banditry is to kill them all.”

He maintained his position not to negotiate with bandits and pay the ransom, saying, “People ask if I won’t pay the ransom if my child was kidnapped and I said that I won’t pay but that is a personal decision, which we do not all support.”

Meanwhile, the Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Aminu Tambuwal, has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to insist on state governments’ repayment, in the immediate, of the $2.1 billion Budget Support facility, earlier granted them.

In his remarks at the occasion, Gov Tambuwal said that state governments were already having serious financial difficulties due to dwindling revenues and that the commencement of the deductions of the facility would spell doom for them.

He warned that a worse financial position by the states would adversely affect the funding of education, a sector currently in need of more resources.

In her address, Ahmed warned of a socio-economic disaster, with an estimated 13 million out-of-school children in the country.

Her words, “With an estimated 13 million children currently out of school in the country, we sit in the precipice of a socio-economic disaster and a full education crisis, if we do not act in a coordinated manner to stop the current wave of systematic attacks on the fundamental rights of our children to a safe learning environment.

“Parents are increasingly more nervous about sending their children, and particularly their young girls to school, with some choosing to withdraw existing students. The time to act is now.

“Today is an opportunity for us to come together to renew and reimagine our country’s commitment to ensuring safe schools for our children.

“This process must be government-led – it must be strategic, and it must result in a multi-stakeholder framework and plan of action that ensures that any planning we do today is sustainably financed.”

She said that although the entire cost of the Safe School Initiative had not yet been determined, it might be as much as N32 billion based on the earlier analysis.

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