The National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, urged the police on Wednesday to collaborate closely with other security and law enforcement agencies in order to effectively implement the government’s Safe School Initiative. This call was made during an event held in Abuja, the Police Strategic Forum on Achieving Safe Schools in Nigeria.


    Represented by retired Maj.-Gen. Abba Dikko, Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Office of the NSA, Ribadu emphasized the need for the police to work in synergy with various stakeholders, particularly in the areas of intelligence and information sharing at both strategic and tactical levels. This collaborative effort, he stated, would help alleviate the security challenges in accordance with the directives of the Federal Government.

    The NSA commended the police for developing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual for the Safe School Initiative. He highlighted that this initiative would enhance the partnership between security and law enforcement bodies to address the security vulnerabilities faced by schools and educational institutions.

    Undeniably, education forms the bedrock of progress in any society. As we strive to construct a prosperous nation for our children’s future and the generations to come, it becomes imperative to prioritize the safety and security of educational institutions at all tiers. Education not only encompasses the acquisition of knowledge and skills but also fosters an environment that encourages creativity, critical thinking, and personal growth, as noted by Ribadu’s representative.

    Over time, educational institutions have grappled with security challenges such as mass abductions, senseless killing of educators, and the vandalism of educational infrastructure. These security issues have adversely affected school enrollment, especially for girls in the northern regions of the country. Additionally, they have hindered the full realization of the shared vision to utilize education as a catalyst for national, human, and capital development.

    In his response, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Olukayode Egbetokun, regarded the introduction of the SOP manual as a positive step forward. He emphasized that the main objective was to create a secure educational environment for students. The SOP serves as a comprehensive guide that underscores the police’s commitment to ensuring a safe and conducive learning atmosphere. Egbetokun noted that while schools used to be safe havens for children, criminal elements have threatened their security since the first school kidnapping incident in 2014. Consequently, innovative and sustainable approaches are required to enhance security efforts.

    Egbetokun highlighted that the SOP manual outlines meticulous procedures that will safeguard law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and communities to establish a secure learning environment in schools. He also mentioned that the establishment of the Police Protection Squad is another significant step taken by the police to advance the safe school initiative.

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