Nigeria’s leader said Tuesday that his government will embark on “massive education” of youth as one way to tackle the increasing kidnappings for ransom now threatening the capital city along with the rest of the country’s conflict-hit north.
President Bola Tinubu won last year’s election after promising to rid the West African nation of its security crisis. However, deadly attacks particularly in the north have persisted, with the capital of Abuja recording a spike in abductions along major roads and in homes in recent weeks.
Tinubu condemned the abductions as “disturbing, ungodly and sinister” and touted education as “the antidote to the troubles agitating the nation,” according to a statement from presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale.
“There is no weapon against poverty that is as potent as learning,” the statement said. “Security agencies are acting with dispatch to immediately address the current challenge (while) all required resources, policies and plans will be rolled out soon for the massive education of Nigerian youths.”
Nigeria’s security forces already are battling jihadi rebels in the northeast in addition to armed groups that often carry out mass killings and abductions in remote communities across the northwest and central regions.
Now residents on the outskirts of the capital are beginning to relocate amid a surge in abductions for ransom suspected of being carried out by gunmen from volatile neighboring states.
Analysts said Tinubu has not done much to address the security crisis.
“Nigeria is drifting towards a failing state (with) non-state armed groups challenging the state authority,” said Oluwole Ojewale, a West and Central Africa researcher with the Africa-focused Institute for Security Studies.
Although Tinubu had promised that his government will “mobilize the totality” of Nigeria’s assets to protect citizens, there has been “no tangible improvement in (the) security situation yet,” Ojewale said.
By Chinedu Asadu, AP
Related stories: First lady of Nigeria 'devastated' by death of kidnapped student