Over 1,000 children abducted in Nigeria since 2013 -UNICEF
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
The dreaded Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria have not relented in their diabolic attitude of targeting children for their violent campaigns. And the dastardly act has seen over a thousand children abducted and millions others displaced in the country’s northeast axis, so says UNICEF on Friday.
The agency, in a statement ahead of Saturday’s four-year anniversary of the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok town, said the militants have upped their attacks on children with devastating effects on their education and future.
While not less than 112 of the girls still remain in Boko Haram captivity, the militants staged another mass kidnapping of another 112 schoolgirls and a boy in northeastern Dapchi town of Yobe state on February 19 and till date,
all but one of the Dapchi children have been freed through backdoor negotiations.
“The four-year anniversary of the Chibok abduction reminds us that children in northeastern Nigeria continue to come under attack at a shocking scale,” the agency’s Representative in Nigeria Mohamed Malick Fall was quoted as saying.
“They are consistently targeted and exposed to brutal violence in their homes, schools and public places.”
The agency said the recent attack on a school in Dapchi in which five (of the) girls lost their lives was just the latest indication that there are few safe spaces left for children in the northeast.
“These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable,” said Fall. “Children have the right to education and protection, and the classroom must be a place where they are safe from harm.”
On Saturday, April 14, the #BringBackOurGirls movement would hold an anniversary lecture in the capital city of Abuja. The lecture is titled ‘towards a just and good society: renewing our commitment to the girl child in Nigeria.’
Since the beginning of the crisis in the northeastern axis of Nigeria about nine years ago, at not less than 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed. Most of these schools have not reopened because of extensive damage or ongoing insecurity.