Abductions: Int’l NGO tasks FG on safe, uninterrupted education

A global child rights group, Save the Children, at the weekend called on the Nigerian Government to provide access to safe, quality, and uninterrupted education free from security threats in the country.

Country director of the NGO, Mercy Gichuhi, made the call in a statement in Abuja, while reacting to the latest kidnapping of over 80 college students and five teachers at Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri, in Kebbi State.

Gichuhi, while describing the incidence as ‘horrifying’ and a grave violation of children’s rights, called for their immediate and unconditional release and a safe return to their families.

“Now more than ever, we urge the Nigerian government to ensure that children have access to safe, quality and uninterrupted education at all levels.

“All children have the right to attend school free from violence and fear.

“This is the third assault by armed gangs on a school or college in Nigeria in less than a month, reportedly by bandits seeking ransom payments.

“Recurring attacks on schools in northern Nigeria is a grave violation of child rights. When will children stop being used as pawns in games played by adults?,” he said.

The group also expressed concern over Nigeria, been the first African country to have endorsed the Safe School Declaration to host the proposed fourth international conference on safe schools in October amidst the security challenges.

“In October this year, Nigeria will host the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools and it is one of the first African countries to have endorsed the Safe School Declaration.

“Armed conflict has been interrupting children’s education – a human right – in Nigeria for nearly a decade.

“Save the Children condemns the recurring killings of teachers, attacks on schools and the kidnappings of school children.

“Save the Children is concerned that the already existing education inequalities in the country will be worsened if similar attacks will not be stopped immediately.” NAN