The Oasis Reporters
May 4, 2021
Nigerians were put in a state of shock when the announcement came that bandits have kidnapped some students and staff of a privapte university in the North West state of Kaduna.
The university is a new one. The story is often told that ten applications had been approved for the opening of private Universities in the north of Nigeria. Many of the proprietors simply collected their licenses and did nothing about doing so in 2013.
One of the very few who took the giant step to start his own is an educationist and philanthropist, Chief (Engineer) Simon Ifediora Nwakacha.
The first of its kind, Greenfield University, established by Chief Nwakacha who is also the proprietor of the highly successful Imperial College located at Kudenda district in Kaduna state for over 30 years, commenced academic activities in May, 2019, as one of the pioneering private universities in the North West part of Nigeria, an area, underserved by educational institutions relative to its status as the most populous region in the country.
The underlying philosophy of the founder is to bring first rate education within the reach of Nigerians, especially the less privileged ones. He disclosed this
while taking some selected journalists round the institution’s premises located at Kasarami, along the Kaduna-Abuja axis.
The university occupies a virgin land and it is surrounded by a large community but “we are not taking chances with security as we have a police station and also a military detachment in the institution just as we have our own personal security outfit in the school to tackle problems of insecurity”, he announced then.
The police outpost and barracks he sponsored and built there can accommodate about 1,000 officers and men.
All that he did, fulfilled the conditions laid down by Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC.
And then insecurity hit Kaduna State, big.
This has led to cynics raising very unpopular views.
Hear one of the cynics on Facebook:
“About 3 weeks ago, my friend and I were coming back from Abuja, II looked to the right of my hand and said to my friend, as I often say to myself every time I pass the private University:
“Under normal circumstances this university is well-located. But we are not anywhere near any normal circumstance. I don’t know how this school will commence operation.”
“I know I will never come to teach here.”
Former Kaduna State Senator, Shehu Sani mentions the deadline given by the alleged kidnap gang leader, with the name, Baderi in a tweet.
The leader of the murderous Kaduna Bandits,Baleri who kidnapped the Greenfield Students gave tomorrow as d dateline for their lives.The clock ticks for the lives of these young Nigerians & for the honor of their https://t.co/toXgyI2Hr5 avoidable tragedy needs no tears afterwards— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) May 3, 2021
Until terrorists abducted scores of them and killed 5, I never knew there was learning going on there.
My heart goes to the young men and women that were kidnaped from Greenfield University and the 5 murdered.
“But the owners of that University and the parents of the students are very irresponsible”.
For an institution that was initiated in 2013 ?
How many schools in Northern Nigeria get that kind of necessary space in a city centre or near a market square ?
For all we know, schools usually start out in outlying districts for expansion sake, serenity sake etc. Being unkind with words would not help.
Another view: “I’ve been boiling inside me with the situation in Kasarani since 5 days ago, that I can no longer keep quiet.
We are not secure even in our homes and in the heart of Kaduna, the capital city of the state. We are living by God’s grace, his protection and mercies. We are sitting duck”.
Can the same unkind words used against the proprietor of the university and the parents of the children be applicable to Kaduna residents as well ?
This is why unkind words are unhelpful.
Here’s another commentator:
“It is in this capital city that a daring band of terrorists went into a school that is about ½ a kilometer away from Nigeria Air Force (NAF) and about 1½ kilometers away from the Army Headquarters (1 Mech Division) and carried out an operation for almost an hour abducting 40 students”.
The above commentator shows the national incapacity of our security forces, for whatever reason.
Someone else said, “Universities often require large expanse of land.
This is often only available at the outskirts in most places in Nigeria.
Virtually all federal & state Universities were once at the outskirts until urban development gravitated towards them.
The only issue to me is that academic activities should have been suspended until the security situation improves”.
And the views of a lawyer: “So, a school has to be inside the city centre or market square before NUC grants it a license to operate?
I don’t know why you people are not apportioning blame where it belongs- the failure of the Government to secure its territorial integrity!
The University surely wasn’t built today. It may have commenced construction long before this whole insecurity mess began! It is the Federal Government that should secure our states!
If it cannot, let it give states their right to self-policing, not this wicked approach to handling security!
It’s just madness honestly!”.
A request for prayers has gone out from Pastor Ike Ofoche of Global Prayer Sessions
With tears in my eyes I ask that you say a prayer and a battle cry tonight against the kidnappers of the staff and students of Greenfield University Kaduna for a miraculous freedom which God is capable of.
My sister and her husband own the University and these students and staff were kidnapped a fortnight ago. The kidnappers are demanding for a ransom of 800m naira (huge sum). They have killed 5 students and 1staff so far. Discussions are ongoing with 55m naira so far paid but they insist on 100m naira as the acceptable minimum with 10 special bikes each costing 500,000 naira, failing which they are threatening to kill all 14 students and 3 staff by tomorrow being Tuesday 4th of May.
Please wherever you are go on your knees and cry out to God for immediate divine intervention. The unimaginable must not happen in the next 24 hours. I’m counting on your thoughts and prayers.
May God hear our collective battle cry in Jesus miraculous name, Amen and amen.
Compiled by Greg Abolo.