Zamfara Kidnapping: Rescue school children now — UNICEF tells govt

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By Bashir Bello – Kano

United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF has on Friday called on the government to as a matter of urgency take steps to rescue and ensure the safe release of about 300 female students kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in reaction to the late Thursday night kidnapping.

The school attack is coming over a week after a similar attack on a boy’s school in Niger State.

Hawkins however described the incidents as a gross violation of the children’s rights

According to him, “UNICEF expressed concern at reports of an overnight attack at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, where an unconfirmed number of schoolgirls were kidnapped.

“We are angered and saddened and by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria,” says Hawkins.

He continued when he said, “This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which 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.

“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 acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of kidnapped school children in Nigeria and calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, UNICEF says it is working with partners to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, currently estimated to be more than 300.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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