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Police affirm commitment to safe school initiative

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The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 14, Yahaya Abubakar, says the Nigeria Police remain committed to fulfilling its obligations under the national policy frameworks for the Safe School Initiative (SSI).

Abubakar gave the commitment at the strategic stakeholders forum on security of schools in Kaduna state organised by the Nigerian Police Force on Wednesday in Kaduna.

He said, “Organising this forum is to enhance the capacity of personnel of School Protection Squad (SPS), Kaduna State Police Command.

“It is a clear indication that the Nigeria Police Force, under the leadership of Inspector-General of Police Kayode Eagbetokun, is committed to the fulfilment of its obligations under the National Policy Frameworks for Safe School Initiative (SSI).”

According to him, the event marked another milestone in the efforts of the federal government and NPF, towards the implementation of the Safe School Declaration (SSD) and the Safe School Initiative (SSI) in the country.

Abubakar commended the I-G for the various proactive measures and strategies being put in place by the Nigeria Police Force to ensure safety and security in schools across the country.

This, he said, was especially in the North-East, the North-West and the North-Central geo-political zones, where vulnerability was highest.

The AIG said, “NPF is the principal law enforcement organ and the lead agency in crime control and public safety in the country.

”It has some core duties and responsibilities of the Nigeria Police under the National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools (NPSSVFS) 2021.

”They include placing the highest priority in the protection of students and teachers during attacks on schools and other higher institutions of learning.

“To ensure immediate response to distress calls for help and protection during the attack on any school, or when such an attack is imminent.

“To establish and assign a Rapid Response Unit that will co-locate with Schools and Local Education Officials during emergencies, among others.”

According to Abubakar, the duties also include developing comprehensive operational guidelines and procedures for the protection of students, teachers and educational infrastructure.

He also said other examples of the commitment of the Inspector-General of Police, included launching of the schools protection squad (SPS) on Aug. 9, 2023, as recommended under the National Policy for Safe Schools.

Abubakar said, ”The Squad is a specialised unit that is solely dedicated to the safety of students, teachers, and schools’ infrastructure in the country.”

He added that, on February 29, the I-G also inaugurated operational equipment, patrol vehicles and other platforms in Abuja for the school protection squad.

Similarly, the I-G has inaugurated training and sensitisation programmes for the Safe School Initiative for State-Coordinators (SSISCos) at the same event.

Abubakar said, ”It’s expected that the personnel will be exposed to wide-ranging topics on safety and security in schools.”

He urged the participants to imbibe the knowledge to be disseminated by the resource persons.

“In line with the multi-sectoral approach of the Federal Government and the Inspector-General of Police, in ensuring safety and security of schools in the country.

“I want to call Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State and the 23 LGAs to support the Commissioner of Police and the Schools Protection Squad to ensure effective security and safety around schools in the State,” Abubakar said.

Earlier, the national coordinator, school protection squad, Basil Idegwu, lauded the I-G for his commitment to the safety of lives and property.

He also extolled the federal government’s laudable initiative towards achieving safer schools in Nigeria.

Idegwu said, “The recent attack and abduction of 187 students of Kuriga is still very fresh in our memory, and that explains why the Federal Government has made school protection one of its highest priorities through the Safe Schools project.

“The Nigeria Police Force, in desiring to create a more secure learning environment for our children, has established the Schools Protection Squad (SPS) in all the states of the Federation and the FCT, as well as trained the State Coordinators and Divisional Police Officers.

“The Police Force is very much aware of the invaluable contributions of the host communities in schools’ protection and security; hence, can not do without their support.”

Also in his welcome address, the commissioner of police, Kaduna state command, Ali Dabigi, said the school protection squad was a step towards ensuring the safety and security of educational institutions, which are the bedrock of society.

Dabigi said, “As we embark on this journey, let us remember the importance of collaboration and unity in achieving our goals.

“Together, with the support of our community stakeholders, we can overcome any challenge and create a safer, more secure environment for our students, teachers, and staff.

“I urge each and every one of us to embrace the mission of the School Protection Squad wholeheartedly and to work tirelessly towards its success.”


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