By Bukar Bolori
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has described as horrifying the abduction of another set of students in Nigeria.
Reacting to the abduction of 100 students and a teacher of Government Day Secondary School Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria on Monday, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, while stating that school must be safe for students, lamented the endless attacks on schools especially in the North.
The frequent abduction of students in the North has been said to have affected the attendance at schools with many parents withdrawing their children from schools.
Just last Friday 91 students of Tegina school were released after they held by their abductors for 88 days, with one unfortunately dead in captivity.
Hawkins in a statement said UNICEF is horrified by yet another attack on an educational institution in Nigeria, following the abduction of 100 students and a teacher of Government Day Secondary School Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, yesterday.
He said of the abducted students, 23 students escaped and returned home – two of them with bullet wounds, lamenting that the abducted students are aged between 14 and 19.
Hawkins said: “We strongly condemn this attack, which has happened just a few days after kidnapped students of a school in Niger State, north-central Nigeria, were freed,” adding that: “We call on the authorities to take expedited action to rescue these students and reunite them with their families.”
He further said: “We reiterate that attacks on schools and abduction of learners are a gross violation of children’s rights, and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and overall well-being.”
He said: “Schools must be safe; no child should experience any harm because they went to school, and no parent should come to grief for sending their children to learn.”