In the wake of the outcry over the abduction of 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe State, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to explain why 150,000 policemen should be attached to Very Important Personalities (VIPs) in the country and not schools. In an interview, Atiku who recently decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year said if he had his way he would withdraw all the 150,000 policemen from the VIPs and send them to guard schools in the northeast.
“If I had my way, I would have recalled all of those 150,000 policemen who are not performing core police duties and send them to provide security for every school in the North-East region. That to me would be a better use of their time and services. “We already know that Boko Haram has an agenda to cripple Western education in Nigeria. So, how could we have left those schools unguarded? Why should the police be guarding VIPs who can afford personal guards and leave vulnerable girls unguarded?
“We are spending billions trying to encourage girls to go to school only to allow them be abducted by terrorists. I condemn these abductions and I urge the federal government to take firm action to ensure that it would never reoccur in Nigeria.” The former vice president accused the Buhari-led administraton of not doing enough to protect the schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their hostel on February 19. Atiku lambasted the administration for not using the 150,000 policemen attached to VIPs to protect vulnerable schoolchildren in the North-East.
“Let me paraphrase Oscar Wilde and say that to lose one set of girls to Boko Haram may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose another set, looks like carelessness. As an opposition party, the APC was vocal to the point of exploiting the issue of the Chibok girls’ kidnapping. They did not cut the Jonathan administration any slack. “They criticised that government every step of the way and some may even claim that they undermined the then government’s efforts at resolving that unfortunate incident. So, it is rather surprising that a set of people who were so unsparing in their critique of the previous government would be in a situation whereby they have allowed these same terrorists to kidnap 110 girls,” he said.
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Mike Okiro, recently revealed that 150,000 policemen were guarding ‘big men’ in the country.