81,000 schools porous, says NSCDC boss

The Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Audi, says the corps’ female squad was set up to provide security to some of the 81,000 schools found to be porous nationwide.

Audi said this when he was featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.

He said that the female squad was set up after a thorough intelligence analysis of all schools in the country.

“We conducted a vulnerability analysis test which is a form of research that we commissioned to just have a clue of the numbers of schools we have in this country, how many schools we are going to say is purportedly safe.

“Safe in the sense that do they have the presence of security whether conventional government security or private security? Are the schools fenced?

“After we did that study, we realized that there is a problem in this country in terms of security of schools and its safety because the data that we got was so shocking and revealing.

“Where we had over 81,000 schools that are porous, no fencing, no presence of security personnel and so it was serious,” he said.

Audi said the research gave the NSCDC the impetus to diagnose and marshal out strategies to protect schools.

He said that the introduction of the Female Squad was one of the measures taken, having realised that rape was one of the devastating effects of the kidnapping of children and teachers for ransom.

“These bad guys use rape as one of their tactics and you know when a woman hears anything about rape, she takes it very seriously and it becomes a great concern.

“So, we now said, a group that will fight this conflict head-on with all sorts of seriousness and to do it very well is the women.

“So we created and established a very formidable female squad that were trained by the military, particularly the army, and we charged them to protect these schools.

“We have the squad virtually nationwide,” he added.

Audi said that the NSCDC has a nationwide spread and highly trained personnel to confront any security issue.

“People don’t know, but the civil defence corps has two very distinct advantages; one, civil defence is spread nationwide.

“Our presence is noticed and we have our offices in all the 74 local governments in the country including districts.

“Secondly, civil defence is trained by virtually all security organisations. So we leverage on our antecedents because we are the product of the military, the army specifically.

“During the Civil War in 1967 to 1970 when we started, we were the ones at their back giving them some form of support, supporting the injured, giving them some sort of succour.

“That is why most of our training we go to the military, the army particularly, to help us.

“So this group of females squads were trained by the military and after the training, we posted them to various schools nationwide,” he said.

The C-G said the presence of the female squad in schools had reduced the kidnapping of school children and their teachers.

He added that the Corps had introduced the School Community Security Vanguard, which engaged teachers, pupils, parent teachers association, traditional rulers and community leaders.

“In the discussions which are like a campaign and advocacy, we engaged them to know that this is a conflict that all of us will have to come together if we really want to nip the problem in the bud.

“I want to tell you that it has been yielding very positive results. People are now cautious and aware that this is a conflict that is not supposed to be only left to the security agencies.

“All hands must be on deck for us to really solve this,” he added.

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