News of unidentified gunmen abducting and killing Nigerian citizens have been making the rounds these past weeks. Nigerians have been bombarded by stories of kidnapped travellers, farmers and everyday people. Meanwhile, the memory of the Chibok girls’ abduction of 2014 is still fresh in our minds.
It is sad that our educational sector is being ravaged by these unrelenting criminals. Every day, people sleep and wake in utmost fear. A sovereign democratic government not being able to protect its citizens and assure the future of those citizens shows the deep rot in the system. Education, which should give us an advantage, is being ripped from our hands. Every day, Nigerian students strive to ameliorate their future by getting an education. Yet, these unscrupulous elements are bent on truncating their dreams.
The incidents that took place at Greenfield University, Kaduna, can only be described as revolting. It is nauseating that students from an institution of higher learning could just be abducted and killed by gunmen. What happened to the institution and state’s security apparatus? How did we get to this point? Students, whose objective was to learn and equip themselves for better lives, now have to fight for their survival. For crying out loud, their only crime was being in school.
It is important to note that kidnappings in Kaduna State did not just start today, or this year even. Yet, the government has refused to put appropriate security measures in place to guard schools. Bandits are having a field day in different parts of the country. This is a cancer that has had ample time and opportunity to build momentum, going as far as reaching higher institutions, which are places that hold the nation’s best and brightest. Why should we have an elected government in place and still fear for our lives. That is, at best, anarchy. Students being abducted should not happen in a sane system.
It is exasperating that the best our government could do was offer condolences. I wonder when they would offer something more than that. Does the life of a Nigerian student mean so little? Students are being abducted and it seems all we can do is wait and hope the government would act fast enough, so we don’t become one of these war-torn countries.
In the words of the late freedom fighter and a former South African President, Nelson Mandela, “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible, so that they can represent us well in the future as future leaders”. But, what happens when the education one is supposed to get ends one’s life? How would the youth aspire to get the highest education possible if it would cost them their lives? If a government put in place by the people refuses to act fast and act right, then it seems the citizens have been condemned to being sitting ducks awaiting different executioners.