‘Schools shouldn’t be sites for violence’ — UNICEF condemns abduction of students in Kaduna

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the recent attack on students of Government Secondary School Kuriga, in Chikun LGA, Kaduna state.

 

On Thursday, over 200 students and pupils were kidnapped by bandits who attacked the school.

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In a statement on Friday, Christian Munduate, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said schools are learning sanctuaries and should not be places of fear and violence.

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READ ALSO: How 287 were abducted in Kaduna

She expressed concern over the recent abduction of over 200 women, boys and children from an IDP camp in Ngala area of Borno state.

“I am deeply saddened and concerned by the reports of yet another abduction of students in Kaduna state,” she said.

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“The alarming frequency of such incidents across the country signals a crisis that requires immediate and determined action from all levels of government and society.

 

“Schools are supposed to be sanctuaries of learning and growth, not sites of fear and violence.

“This latest abduction, as any previously, is highly condemnable and part of a worrying trend of attacks on educational institutions in Nigeria, particularly in the north-west, where armed groups have intensified their campaign of violence and kidnappings.

 

“Just a day prior to this incident, the UN resident coordinator spoke about the abductions of large numbers of women, girls and boys by members of a non-state armed group in Borno state.

 

“UNICEF urges immediate action to ensure the safe return of the abducted children and staff and calls on authorities to implement comprehensive measures to secure schools across Nigeria.

 

“It is imperative that the safety and security of students and educators are guaranteed, allowing schools to fulfill their role as safe havens for learning and development.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the abducted students and staff, and we stand with them in this harrowing time. The right to education is fundamental and must be protected against any form of violence or intimidation. The children of Nigeria deserve to learn in peace.”

 

She added that UNICEF is working with local officials to provide assistance to affected parents.

 

“UNICEF is coordinating with local officials and providing assistance to the affected parents and families through psychological support services,” she added.

 

“The UN children’s agency is dedicated to collaborating with government entities, local communities, and various partners to tackle the fundamental issues leading to violence against children and to safeguard educational environments from threats and violence.

 

“Every child deserves to grow up in an environment of peace, away from the looming shadows of threats and insecurity.

 

“Unfortunately, we are currently facing a significant deterioration in community safety, with children disproportionately suffering the consequences of this decline in security.”

She called on the government to take necessary action to ensure the students are rescued and the safety of every child in schools is assured.

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