By Francis Nansak, Lafia
A Group known as “Friends of Police” (FOP) has inaugurated the implementation committee for it’s Safe School Security Initiative in Nasarawa State with the aim of promoting safety in schools for effective teaching and learning.
Mr Ibrahim Babayo, the convener of the NGO, alongside other key members of the group inaugurated the committee in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on Friday.
Babayo said the committee comprise National Orientation Agency (NOA), Nigerian Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) among others put in place efforts to ensure children and students continue their education in a safe and secure environment.
He narrated that the committee seeks to create safe school environment, prepare disaster risk reduction plan, generate awareness to make schools safer and secured from violence and abuse and carry out capacity building in various schools across the state.
Babayo added that the safe school security initiative was as a matter of urgency to combat insecurity challenges in schools so that, if left unchecked, the insecurities do not endanger the future of the innocent school children especially from the ages of 13 to 19 years.
“The insecurity menace has also scared away potential tourists, manufacturing companies and business developers and others.
“Therefore the safe school security initiative is a quick intervention therapy,” He said.
He explained that the initiative in Nasarawa State was prompted by the findings of a research by Friends of Police, which revealed that most schools in the state do not have basic safety and security apparatus.
Babayo said the research also found out that school authorities lack the knowledge and experience to utilize appropriate remedy to unforseen circumstances in the event of a disaster.
“The findings of Friends of Police also shows that there is no subject in the school curriculum from kindergarten to secondary level that teaches safety and security management.
“It is also on record that public and private secondary schools in Nasarawa State do not have constituted disaster management committees or any emergency management plan.
“In line with these findings, it is therefore recommended that a disaster emergency management curriculum should be inaugurated in pubic and private schools to teach students on how to respond in cases of emergencies and prevention strategies,” he added.
He then applauded the Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, the leadership of the NOA, NSCDC and the Federal Fire Service for their support in helping to actualize the security initiative.
Also speaking, Mrs Priscilla Gondo-Aluor, Nasarawa state Director of NOA represented by Mr Philemon Ebuga, NOA’s Head of Publicity and Enlightenment applauded the partnership between the NOA and the Friends of Police aimed at creating public awareness on security and other issues.
She added that due to the positive impact of the partnership on the society, the Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari had deemed it fit to permit the Friends of Police to use the structures of the NOA throughout the country.