From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
To forestall the increasing spate of insecurity in schools across the country, the Benue State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has stressed the need for all security guards in all schools in the state to be duly registered and trained by linsenced private guards.
State Commandant of NSCDC, Dr. Philip Okoh stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting with key actors in the educational sector held at the state Command of the Corps recently.
Okoh while addressing stakeholders who were drawn from the educational sector in the state, noted that the training became necessary following reports of kidnapping and other vices linked to security guards in schools around the country and the need to prevent such occurrence in Benue.
“We have called this meeting to rub minds and see how our schools can be better protected. All who are engaged in moulding lives through education have been awakened to the trends of insecurity in schools. Since men of the underworld have carried their nefarious acts into schools we have also thinkered a way to combat them to a stand still.”
He disclosed that the meeting was in line with the directive of the Commandant General of the Corps to ensure that those who are saddled with the responibility of manning the gates in schools know their job and carry out same according to laid down guidelines.
“To provide effective security in our schools, everyone who will guard a school whether primary or secondary should be a personnel from a linsenced private guard company. NSCDC is the only security agency permitted by law to grant linsence to private guards.
“Private guard companies will never engage anybody whose bio-data have not been taken. We discovered that many who have been kidnapped or abducted or even killed are linked to those security guards whose identities are not known and it becomes difficult to trace them,” the Commandant said.
On his part, Commissioner of Education in the state, Sarwuan Tarnongo who was represented by Director, Quality Assurance, in the Ministry, Mrs. Dorcas Igbahena commended the NSCDC for the meeting which he noted had reawakened the need to sensitize all schools on the issue of insecurity which has sadly continued to plague the country.
“You have educated us and I am assuring you that the ministry would do a step down training about the message so that it goes down to all the 23 LGAs in the state.
“When we look at what is happening to our children who have been kidnapped, sometimes by people they know, it’s very sad. One can only imagine what such child is going through and the truth is that even a security guard can be used, hence the need to know who we employ as guards to man our schools.”
Others who spoke including the Vice Chairman of All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, Apir Roberts, and Chairman, Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria, Ugena Kelvin stated that the meeting was timely and urged school owners to desist from employing security guards without clearance letter or verifiable address.
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