…seeks quick release of kidnapped Jangebe school girls
As the freed 27 students of the Government Science College in Kagara, Niger State return to their families, UNICEF has commiserated with the family of their fallen school mate, Benjamin Habila, who was shot dead during the overnight attack on the school.
In a statement, UNICEF Representative to Nigeria, Peter Hawkins also urged the government to expedite action on the release and safe return of the kidnapped students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, and all abducted school children yet to be released.
He made the call while expressing relief from the news of the Kagara student’s release.
Hawkins said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Benjamin, which has suffered a huge loss.”
In addition, he said: “I am relieved to receive the long-awaited news of the release of 27 students of the Government Science College in Kagara abducted from their school over a week ago and I look forward to their safe return to their families.
“The Kagara school attack – like that of Government Girls’ Secondary School Jangebe in Zamfara State on Friday, and others before it – shouldn’t have happened in the first place because children shouldn’t be the target of attacks, least of all in a place they ought to feel safe – a school.”
In addition, he said: “Attacks on educational facilities are a grave violation of children’s rights.” Hawkins stressed that children should never be the target of attack – and yet, far too often in Nigeria, they are precisely that – victims of attacks on their schools.
However, UNICEF Representative to Nigeria said: “Such attacks not only negate the right of children to an education, they also make children fearful of going to school, and parents afraid to send their children to school.
“Schools must be safe places to study and develop, and learning should not become a perilous endeavour.”