‘Education crucial to development’ — Okonjo-Iweala demands release of abducted Kaduna, Sokoto students


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has called on the federal government to ensure the release of the students abducted by bandits in Kaduna and Sokoto states.


Okonjo-Iweala spoke in Abuja on Tuesday during the launch of the WTO-ITC 2024 technical assistance programme for Nigeria.

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She expressed sadness over the mass abduction of students and teachers in the country, adding that education is very crucial to economic development.


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Over 200 students were recently abducted after bandits invaded the Government Secondary School Kuriga in Chikun LGA of Kaduna.

Another 15 Tsangaya students reportedly went missing after bandits invaded the school at Gidan Bakuso in Gada LGA of Sokoto.



“I am sad because I am here at a time when once more hundreds of our school children and teachers have been abducted,” Okonjo-Iweala said.


“As a mother, grandmother educator and someone for whom education is paramount to creating economic opportunities, I am sad.

“And with the representative of my brother, the national security adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, I hope we can be able to recover them soon in Kaduna and Sokoto.”


Despite recent efforts by security operatives to combat banditry and terrorism, cases of attacks, killings and abductions are still recorded in parts of the country.


Recently, more than 200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Ngala area of Borno were abducted by terrorists while fetching firewood in the area.


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