Atiku Abubakar salutes Mary Katambi, other Chibok girls for pursuing education after abduction

MARY Katambi, one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, graduated from the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in 2021.

Katambi bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, seven years after she escaped from the grip of the deadly Boko Haram terrorists who stormed Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, on the night of April 14, 2014.

Marking the ninth anniversary of the abduction, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, celebrated the AUN alumnus and other survivors “pursuing their education in other institutions at home and abroad.”

In a statement posted on his social media handles, Abubakar said the plight of Chibok girls “who have attained womanhood, has become a metaphor” for the protracted insecurity that has plagued Nigeria.

The former Vice President, founder of the university,  added that 13 other students out of the 57 Chibok students from AUN’s New Foundation School (NFS) “are following in her footsteps” and were admitted into the university last year.

“Let’s remember how the escaped girls are bracing the odds to send a clear message to their abductors and agents of retrogression. We must not give up until the last Chibok girl is rejoined with their family”, the statement said.

Nine years after, UNICEF rues suffering of children

The ICIR had reported that nine years after Boko Haram terrorists abducted 276 Chibok schoolgirls in Chibok, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) has lamented the continued violations of children’s rights in the north-eastern region of Nigeria.

UNICEF representative, Christian Munduate, said in a statement on Friday, April 14 that “the statistics are disturbing, the reality is devastating” for children in the region.

“It has been nine years since the horrendous abduction of the Chibok girls, yet the nightmare continues as children are still being kidnapped, forcibly recruited, killed and injured – their futures torn away.

“Nine years after 276 schoolgirls were abducted in the middle of the night from their dormitory in Chibok, Nigeria, 96 girls remain in captivity, and thousands more children have been subjected to grave violations of their rights”, the statement said.

Christian Munduate

UNICEF noted that children are still being kidnapped in Nigeria’s North-East.






     

     

    “As recently as 7 April 2023, 80 children were reportedly abducted by militants in Zamfara State’s Tsafe Local Government Area, according to local media.

    “Since 2014, there have been over 2,400 incidents of grave violations verified, affecting over 6,800 children in the North East.

    The UN agency further observed, “The most common violations are recruitment or use of children by armed groups “with 700 verified cases, followed by abductions of children, with 693 incidents, and killing and maiming, with 675 incidents.

    “This reinforces the urgent need for action to protect children in Nigeria.”

     

    Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: [email protected]

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