The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has urged the Nigerian government to implement a holistic security approach to protect the rights of children.
This followed the release of the abducted female students of the Government Girls Secondary School Jengebe in Zamfara state. There has been similar mass kidnap of students in states such as Katsina, Niger, Borno and Yobe.
CDD, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES and signed by its director, Idayat Hassan, said authorities must come together and map out workable strategies that would ensure that every child is protected in his or her quest to seek development and learning.
The centre said it finds it unacceptable that Nigerian children are being subjected to dehumanizing and traumatic experiences, which the bandits have continued to subject them to.
“It is a slap on the face of the entire country that common criminals have turned the national space into a lawless, chaotic, and non-habitable place,” CDD said.
It added that this is most unfair to the long-suffering citizens of Nigeria that the Buhari government has woefully failed to stem the tide of insecurity.
“It is not tenable that Nigerians, especially young people seeking an education, can no longer do so in a secure, peaceful, and conducive atmosphere.”
The mass kidnapping can be attributed to the breakdown of security in the North-west and North-central regions of the country.
“The government can no longer continue to hide its head in the sands in the hope that the wave of the kidnapping of school children will simply go away,” CDD said in its statement. “In fact from the evidence on ground, the bandits will become even more daring, especially as they have been getting generous financial returns from hefty sums paid to them as ransom.”
The government, therefore, needs to effectively perform its primary function of ensuring the security of lives and property of all Nigerians, it added
The centre urged the government to revisit and update existing school security policies such as the Safe School Initiative.
“Subsequently, a common national template involving the security agencies and communities should be activated to respond to the current threat of mass abductions,” it said.
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