By Justina Auta
A global children’s rights group, Save the Children, has urged the federal government to provide access to safe, quality, uninterrupted education free from threats to security in the country.
Nigeria’s national director, Mercy Gichuhi, made the call in a statement in Abuja, as she reacted to the kidnapping of more than 80 students and five teachers at Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri, in the state. of Kebbi.
Gichuhi, while describing the incident as “horrific” and a serious 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 go to school without violence and fear.
“This is the third assault by armed gangs on a school or college in Nigeria in less than a month, apparently by bandits seeking to pay ransom.
“The recurrent attacks on schools in northern Nigeria constitute a serious violation of children’s rights. When will children stop being used as pawns in games played by adults? “, did he declare.
The group also expressed concern over Nigeria, the first African country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration to host the Fourth International Safe Schools Conference in October amid security challenges.
“In October of this year, Nigeria will host the 4th International Safe Schools Conference and is one of the first African countries to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration.
“Armed conflict has interrupted children’s education – a human right – in Nigeria for almost a decade.
“Save the Children condemns the recurring killings of teachers, attacks on schools and kidnappings of schoolchildren.
“Save the Children fears that the already existing educational inequalities in the country will worsen if similar attacks are not immediately stopped,” the statement said in part. (NAA)