Nigerians will not renege on National commitment to securing schools against attacks – Defence Minister
By Halima ABDULKADIRI
The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi has says the Armed Forces of Nigeria will not renege on National commitment to securing schools against infractions by Anti-educational Forces.
Magashi stated this as special guest of honour at the Pre-event briefing towards the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools Declaration, SSD, to be hosted by Nigeria, held at the National Defence College, Abuja.
He said Nigeria will be the first African country to host the biennial International Safe Schools Declaration Conference from 25th to 27th of this month.
The Minister whose 53rd Anniversary of the day he commenced his Military training as a member of the NDA 5th Regular Course began on October, 14th 1968 also coincides with the SSD Pre- event briefing date of 14th October 2021 said, the condemnable and unacceptable attacks on Schools by the criminal elements must stop forthwith as the nation’s Security Forces are gallantly on top of the situation.
He earlier mentioned in a welcome address, that the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence Musa Istifanus recalled the instrument of ratification of SSD was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019 signalling Nigeria’s strong commitment to its implimentation.
He said the pre-conference briefing organised by the Ministry of Defence and supported by the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs is aimed at creating awareness, highlights its significance and to launch SSD Manuals which he said is the first of its kind since 2015.
However, remarks were delivered by the representatives of the Ministers of Education Adamu Adamu and Foreign Affairs Geofrey Onyeama as well as the Chief of Defence Staff General Leo Irabor.
Others included the goodwill messages by the Commandant National Defence College NDA, Rear Admiral OB Daji and Ambassadors of Norway, Argentina and Spain alongside Senior Policy & Strategy Adviser Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attacks (GCPEA) Ms Abiola Sanusi.
Highlight of the event included Panelists discussions drawn from physical and virtual participants on Challenges and Strategies in Protecting Schools and Universities from Attack, which was moderated by the Acting Assistant Director Legal and Gender Desc Officer Defence Headquarters Squardron Leader OF Maduemezia.
The climax of the ceremony was the presentation of the Safe Schools Declaration Trainer’s Guide and Participants Manual for Nigerian Security Agencies and Human Rights Institutions by Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd).
However, “Ensuring Safe Education for All, from Commitment to Practice” is the theme for the 4th biennial International SSD Conference to be held in Abuja Nigeria.