THE Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has asked both federal and state governments to properly secure the colleges as preparations for reopening of tertiary institutions across the country continue.
COEASU president, Nuhu Ogirima, speaking in Abuja lamented the parlous security condition of most of the colleges of education, which he said has made them vulnerable to attacks.
He said the union had consistently reminded the government to do the needful to review the 2006 outsource policy to cater for the security needs of the colleges.
He also called on the National Assembly to review the Establishment Act of Federal Colleges of Education, noting that the institutions were being run on obsolete laws.
Ogirima said the Act establishing the federal colleges of education was enacted in 1986, and that by implication, most of the services of these institutions could be conveniently termed illegal in the face of the law.
“The refusal of the Federal Government to provide funds to adequately remunerate the outsourced security staff and others on sundry jobs, and the inability of the colleges to afford the high cost of sourcing and funding good security outfits has made colleges of education much more vulnerable to attack.
“For instance, recall that on 17 September, 2014, the Federal College of Education (FCE), Kano, was attacked by perceived Boko Haram elements. It is on record that the security men at the gate of the college fled at the sight of the armed men.
“Thus, invaders fired sporadic gunshots into one of the lecture theatres, as bomb blasts of the invaders reverberated. While scores of persons were severely injured, 20 people, including three bombers, died from that incident.
“Shortly after the FCE Kano episode, specifically on 12th November, 2014, FCE Kontagora lost a final year male student in a bomb blast by a suicide bomber who infiltrated the college.
“The trauma experienced by many residents of the staff quarters at the time still resonates even years after the terrible experience. Many other colleges of education have had similar brushes with insecurity occasioned by the policy till date.
“Currently, the College of Education, Katsina-Ala, reel under kidnapping, which remains unattended, in spite of all representations to the Benue State government.
“Similarly, and worst of the current predicament, we drew the attention of the Yobe State government to the plight of Bitrus Zakka, a lecturer of Umar Suleiman College of Education, Gashua, kidnapped around Dapchi by Boko Haram elements in November, 2019. It is being rumoured that he may have been killed.”
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