THE Amnesty International Nigeria has said that education is under attack in northern Nigeria.
It said this while reacting to the recent kidnap of school children from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, on Friday night.
“Education is under attack in northern Nigeria. Schools should be places of safety, and no child should have to choose between their education and their life. Other children have had to abandon their education after being displaced by frequent violent attacks on their communities,” it said.
While calling for the safe return of the girls and others still in the custody of armed men, Amnesty Nigeria noted that “attacks on schools and abductions of girls are war crimes.”
“The girls abducted are in serious risk of being harmed. Nigerian authorities must take all measures to return them to safety, along with all children currently under the custody of armed groups.”
Mohammed Yerima, spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, had earlier told The ICIR on the phone that the Army were unaware of the kidnap several hours after the incident.
Timeline of kidnap of school children in Nigeria
Nigeria has experienced many kidnappings in schools, especially in the northern part of the country. The first of such ugly incident took place in 2014 with the kidnap of 276 girls from Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the kidnap.
Although some of them have regained their freedom, the whereabouts of 113 of them are still unknown till date.
Four years after, another 110 students were kidnapped from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yunusari Local Government area of Yobe State.
Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Five schoolgirls died on the same day of the kidnap, while the others were released in March 2018 except the lone Christian girl, Leah Sharibu. Till date, Sharibu’s whereabouts are still shrouded in mystery.
In November 2020, seven school children were kidnapped by unknown gunmen at a private school in Kaduna State.
Premium Times reported that seven students and a teacher were kidnapped at Prince Academy, a school located at Damba-Kasaya village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
A criminal gang, who wanted to take revenge against others, claimed responsibility for the abduction.
On 17 December, the kidnapped students were freed in neighbouring Zamfara State.
Kagara, Niger State
Again, only on Tuesday night, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers, invaded a school in Niger State, whisking away an undisclosed number of students.
The latest incident, ThisNigeria gathered, took place at Government Science College (GSC) Kagara.
The bandits were said to have subdued the security guards and abducted the students.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security operatives to ensure that all those kidnapped are rescued.
According to his media aide, Bashir Ahmad, the president has asked security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation of the kidnapped students and teachers
Also, the Niger State Government has said that it has taken concrete security measures to ensure safety in the state and safe return of the abducted students of the Government Science College, Kagara.