By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
UNICEF on Friday expressed concerns at reports of an overnight attack at Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State where an unconfirmed number of schoolgirls were said to have been kidnapped.
“We are angered and saddened and by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
Peter Hawkins in a press statement signed by the Agency’s communication officer, Blessing Ejiofor, described the attack as a gross violation of children’s rights.
Hawkins explained that it is a horrific experience for children to go through such a dehumanizing act that could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being.
“We utterly condemn the attack and call on those responsible to release the girls immediately and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren in Nigeria”, the statement said.
The fund representative in Nigeria opined that children should feel safe at home and at school at all times – and parents should not need to worry for the safety of their children when they send them off to school in the morning”.
UNICEF said however that it acknowledged efforts being made by the Federal Government to secure the release of kidnapped school children.
Hawkins, while calling on the government and all concerned to make schools in Nigeria safe, noted that the Zamfara attack is coming just over a week after a similar incident in Niger state on a school for boys.
Blessing Ejiofor assured that UNICEF is working with partners to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, puts at over 300.