AISHA Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, has called for concerted efforts by governments and other stakeholders to bring an end to abductions of schoolgirls and women in Nigeria.
She said this in a statement released on Monday in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, which is celebrated across the world.
The first lady, who complained that girl-child education was being affected by abductions in the country, noted that the plight of women had further been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
She called for support for those who had been impacted negatively by the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on women, disrupted education and careers, lost jobs, brought about descent into poverty, and proliferation of domestic violence. Many have also died or suffered due to lack of access to basic information on the pandemic,” parts of the statement read.
“It is, therefore, important, not just to continue spreading the message of the COVID-19 protocol, but to remember and support those who have been affected negatively by the pandemic in one way or another.
“Away from COVID-19, women and girls in Nigeria have continued to suffer abductions both in the hands of insurgents and bandits.
“As a mother, I share the sorrow and agony of the victims and their families. I am also not unaware of the impact that these abductions could have in reverting many successes we have hitherto achieved, especially in terms of girl-child education and early marriages.
“I call on all stakeholders to continue to exert their different levels of influence and bring these abductions to an end and to assure us that girls are safe anywhere they may find themselves.
“My best wishes to women all over the world for their resilience, hard work and commitment to the progress of humanity. Happy International Women’s Day. “
Since 2014, about 693 school girls have been kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents and terrorists operating in the name of bandits in the northern part of the country.
The United Nations and civil societies organisations have continued to call on the Nigerian government to protect the girl-child by providing adequate security around schools, most especially in the northern part of Nigeria.