NGO condemns Kebbi school abduction: says its horrifying

 A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Save the Children Nigeria on Friday condemned the abduction of a number of college students in Kebbi, describing it as horrifying.

Save the Children’s Nigeria Country Director, Mercy Gichuhi said this in a statement in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria of Nigeria (NAN) reports armed attackers on Thursday abducted a number of students and killed a police officer at a college in Kebbi.

Gichuhi said that the safety and well-being of children remained the International NGO’s primary concern.

“Our hearts go out to the students and their families. We call for their immediate and unconditional release and safe return to their families.

“Places of learning should never be targets and children should never be abducted,” she said.

Gichuhi said that the act was a grave violation of children’s rights, and Save the Children was deeply concerned about the protection of children in the places that should be safest for them.

She said that just this week; children marked the “Day of the African Child’’ by calling on leaders to ensure their education and allow them to return to school safely, free from attacks.

Gichuhi added that even before COVID-19, many children across Nigeria and the continent were shut out of school due to violence.

“This attack is a grave reminder of how real this threat is.

“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? she asked.

Gichuhi said that in October this year, Nigeria would play host to the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools and it was one of the first African countries to have endorsed the Safe School Declaration.

She said that armed conflicts had been interrupting children’s education, a human right in Nigeria for nearly a decade.

The NGO country director said that Save the Children condemned the recurring killings of teachers, attacks on schools and the kidnapping of school children.

According to the country director, Save the Children is concerned that the already existing education inequalities in the country will be worsened if similar attacks are not stopped immediately.

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

This, she said was because all children have the right to attend school free from violence and fear. (NAN)