By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja.
A group under the umbrella of Global Rights has called on the Federal Government to ensured the swift release of students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Rafi, L.G.A, Niger state by unidentified gun men after they attacked the boarding school on Tuesday night.
In a statement released by Funke Adeoye, Programs Manager, Global Rights, said:
“Global Rights is enraged by the reports of the abduction of students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Rafi, L.G.A, Niger state by unidentified gun men after they attacked the boarding school on Tuesday night.
” It is heart-wrenching that kidnappings are now a recurrent decimal in the country and that school children are made to bear the brunt of the government’s inability to protect its citizens.
The group further call on the government to immediately facilitate the release of the school children and to take adequate steps to put a stop to this horror.
“In December, just two months ago, young boys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Kaduna state where abducted by armed bandits and were in the enclave of their captors for 6 days”, she added.
“They were later released after “negotiations” with the government. That these faceless bandits were not arrested and they have continued to cause mayhem and torment citizens gives severe reason for concern.
” From all indications, education is now under attack in Northern Nigeria.
“There is no doubt that the government has obstinately refused to glean lessons from the various traumatic kidnaps of school children particularly across the Northern parts of the country by ensuring that adequate security arrangements are put in places of learning especially in locations susceptible to attacks by non-state armed groups;
Funke noted that, the group recollected in 2014, 270 female students were also abducted by the armed group Boko Haram in the town of Chibok, Borno State, subsequently, more than 100 girls in Dapchi, North East in 2018.
” Although these attacks have not been limited to Northern Nigeria, as 3 female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu were also kidnapped in 2016, as were 8 students and staff of the Tulip International College, Ogun state in 2017 at their respective schools, the children in the North are at more risk of being kidnapped due to the wide land mass enjoyed by the region”, she lamented.
The statement also said, the right to education is sacrosanct. It is an anomaly that a child should consider choosing between their education and their life. It is beyond sad that an entire generation of Nigerian children have to suffer the vulnerability of the insecurity that has plagued the nation, jeopardizing their right to education – an essential ingredient for their future and for national development.
“We hereby call on the Nigerian government to prioritize the provision of adequate security for all schools across the country, in particular, realizing the vulnerability of schools in the North parts of the country.
” We again call on the government at both federal and state levels across the country to prioritize and ensure the protection of schools, and also to build the security resilience of the communities in which schools across the country are situated.
” Without urgent action to address these attacks on school children, the future of the nation’s human resource will become locked in unending cycles of underachievement and poverty due to the fear of been attacked while in school, barring them from seeking educational opportunities.
“We urge the Federal Government to do all and everything humanly possible to rescue the missing and abducted children unharmed.
“All appropriate ministries must also begin to set in gear the process of receiving all rescued students by setting up medical, trauma support and counselling mechanisms to salvage the effect of the abduction on the students”, the group said.