Connected Development (CODE), has described as worrisome and an indictment on our democracy; the spate of abduction of school children in recent times.
CODE strongly condemned these atrocious crimes and is calling on the government to urgently deploy measures to protect children and ensure schools are safe for learning.
CODE’s Communications Director, Kevwe Oghide in a press statement on Wednesday, noted that mass kidnappings of school girls and boys at schools in the Northeast and Northwest Nigeria have become a frequent phenomenon in the past three months, carried out by acclaimed bandits who have turned these menace into money-making ventures.
She added that this form of brazen terrorism has unfortunately not been met with the level of aggression that is needed to address the severity of a recurring crime of this kind.
Oghide, noted that the government, rather than re-strategise its security infrastructure and address the dearth of effective protection of lives and property, continues to play to the tune of these culprits and reward them with ransoms, adding that state governments and President Mohammadu Buhari must step up measures to tackle this notorious attack before it escalates.
According to her, “The psychological and social consequences on parents and guidance are too grievous to describe and the abducted children often have to live with the scar for the rest of their lives. CODE continues to advocate for education for young Nigerians, especially the girl-child and through its works has significantly ensured that the number of out-of-school children is reduced.
“The abduction of school children who now serve as pawns in the hands of their abductors is a challenge that drastically sets back the work of many organisations to ensure children learn in schools”.
She further stated that, “It is unacceptable that security authorities at State and Federal level have not deployed tactics to combat abductions of school children and even civilians across the country.
“Citizens continue to lament increasing insecurity on travel highways and the unethical practice of some security agents to aid kidnappers. State governments must set up punitive measures and bring to book perpetrators and their accomplices in office must face the wrath of the law”.
CODE, while urging Nigerians to continue to speak against this injustice until the government becomes responsive, added that the Nigerian Government must awake to its responsibilities of protecting citizens’ lives and properties and combat this menace because the target on education is a target on the future of Nigeria.