–         Says “Safe School Initiative” Yielding Desired Result

 In a bid to exterminate social vices and restiveness among young people,  the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Imo State Command has outlined strategic steps adopted by the Corps to positively engage the minds of the teens and youths early through the “Safe School Initiative”. 

Speaking to newsmen recently, the Imo State Commandant, Matthew Sunday Ovye reinstated the Corps’ mission to “catch them young” in order to guarantee a safe and sustainable society for all, now and in the future. 

According to him, Safe School Initiative is the brainchild of NSCDC Commandant General, Dr. Armed Abubukar Audi, mni, OFR, to sensitize, enlighten and re-orient school pupils and students on the dangers of crime, violence and social vices and as well engage the youths meaningfully to become useful and responsible citizens of the country. 

He noted that the youths’ involvement in insecurity, crime, drug use, kidnapping for ransom, recruitment into and membership of dangerous criminal gangs have been on the increase in the last few years, hence the Corps’ reason for prioritizing the safe school initiative. 

He revealed that the Corps has a specialized safe school team which  collaborates with its Female Strike Force and the Rapid Response Squad, moving  round schools, sensitizing and educating the young ones on the need to shun all forms of crime and social vices. 

The Safe School Project Team according to him, has spread its tentacles across the whole Imo State, touring every school in the 27 LGAs of the state, adding that the month of June, Safe school team visited schools in Ngor Okpala, Isu, Orlu, Ideato North and South, Nkwerre etc. 

Ovye emphasized that the Safe School Initiative has continued to yield enormous results, adding that many youths who pervert and distort the harmony, tranquility and conducive learning culture in academic environments have been arrested and dispossessed of their weapons and charms.

He expressed shock at the heinous activities masterminded by little students, saying that it was the proactive intervention of the Corps last month that stopped some students from executing their plans to invite rival groups to fight one another in their schools at the rounding off of WAEC examination.

His words, “NSCDC is on a mission to catch young boys in the primary and secondary schools before they become uncontrollable. We are succeeding in positively capturing the minds of these teenagers so that the air will be safe for everyone to breath in future unlike now that the air has been polluted and there is regular blood spill. 

“It is disturbing that secondary school students and even primary school pupils go to school with weapons and charms to fight and attack one another. This is why our Safe School Team is always on surveillance. Once we get them, we bring them to the Corp, give them orientation and allow our chaplain and counsellors to interact with them and their parents, counsel and pray for them. 

“The Corps is committed to our constitutional mandate of protecting communities against crime and insecurity. We must strive for and contribute our utmost to restoring absolute order, security, peace, prosperity and development in Imo State”.

Ovye however, charged parents to be committed to responsible parenting and shun negligence and nonchalant attitudes towards upbringing of their children.

He enjoined them to speedily report to the Corps once they notice significant negative changes in their children, so that the Corps will use the necessary disciplinary, counselling and therapeutic measures to bring such to a stop. 

He also tasked teachers to ensure they report any case of cultism, abuse, criminality and other vices amongst pupils/students in their schools, to the Corps, stressing that they are professionally trained to find out the truth from them, with the sole aim of proffering lasting solutions to them.

The Commandant urged other security agencies to partner with the “Safe School Initiative” of the Corps to ensure total eradication of crime, unrest and crisis in our schools.