•                Commandant-General, NSCDC, Ahmed Audi

 The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ahmed Audi, launched the Safe School Response Team to protect schools from all forms of attacks in the North-Central region of the country.

Audi, while speaking in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital at a one-day sensitisation workshop for strategic stakeholders in the geo-political zone on the activities of the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre and Safe School Project In Nigeria, said the Federal Government had domiciled the coordination of the project with the agency.

He added that the squad which included officers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Department of State Services, among others, was expected to work in close partnership to address the spate of attacks on schools, pupils and teachers in the six states of the region, and the Federal Capital Territory.

The CG expressed confidence that the smooth implementation of the initiative would reduce the burden of out-of-school children in the region, and called on stakeholders to support the implementation project to enable the security agencies to achieve their set objectives.

The National Safe School Response Coordination Centre is a product of the National Plan on Safe Schools in Nigeria. The menace of violence and attacks on schools in Nigeria is not a new phenomenon to us.

“For more than a decade, Nigeria has experienced deliberate targeting of education and destruction of facilities; disrupting schools and keeping children out of school.

The risk of keeping children out of schools continuously and the consequences thereof can only be imagined. It is in an attempt to address this ugly situation that the centre was created by the government and domiciled under the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps with the responsibility of coordinating safety and security responses against violence in schools and host communities,” Audi said.

So far, about 48 cases of planned attacks on schools have been thwarted through the collaborative efforts of the centre. This workshop is one in the series of several advocacies, awareness creation and sensitisation programmes being carried out by the centre to galvanise support, synergy and collaborations towards tackling the challenge of school attacks and violence which has kept a lot of our children out of schools over a long period,” the NSCDC CG added.

Earlier, while declaring the workshop open, the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, who was represented by his deputy, Emmanuel Akabe, announced the donation of a building to the Commander of the NSSRCC, Tersoo Shaapera, and his team for the smooth take-off of the project in the state