Plan International Nigeria has raised concern over the kidnap of dozens of students and staff from a boarding school in Kagara, Niger state.
“It is a shame that another kidnapping of school children has occurred again in Kagara, this time in Niger state barely 2 months after the Kankara, Katsina state incident,” Plan International Nigeria Country Director, Hussaini Abdu said in a statement.
Armed men reportedly stormed the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State at about 2am on Tuesday the 17 February, 2021 taking away more than 40 students, staff and family members, according to media reports.
Students and teachers must be safely returned
Education is a fundamental right of every child and under no circumstances should they be denied of it.
Abdu called on the governments at state and federal levels to ensure the safe return of the abducted students and teachers.
“We strongly condemn the constant attacks on children and educational facilities across the country. Education is a fundamental right of every child and under no circumstances should they be denied of it,” he said.
He also said the government needs to develop and deploy new strategies to deal with the new threats to the security and safety of children and their education.
Prioritise school safety
“We advise the state governments to have a thorough security assessment of all boarding facilities and convert those in at-risk communities to day schools and return students from distant communities to schools within their immediate communities. This is to ensure that boarding schools are without children at night.
“We advise the governments at the federal and state levels to urgently address issues of security of schools and other learning centres, in line with the commitment of the country to the Safe School Declaration, an inter-governmental political commitment to schools’ security, it signed on to.
“Governments must also prioritise building of capacities of communities and support them to develop an early warning system and community-led security structures."