- by E. Nriezedi
- 1:06 PM May 18, 2022
Global rights group, Amnesty International, has said eight years after the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram, more than 1,500 Nigerian school children have been abducted by armed groups.
The group made this known in a statement obtained on Thursday, noting that “Nigerian authorities are failing to protect them (schoolchildren)”.
The PUNCH had reported that on April 14, 2014, 276 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram from a secondary school in Chibok, a town in North-East.
Some of the girls managed to escape, while others were released following campaigning efforts and government negotiations.
Despite efforts to free all the pupils, 109 of the girls remain in captivity, and at least 16 have been killed.
Part of the statement read, “Since then, abductions have continued. Between December 2020 and October last year, 1,436 schoolchildren – and 17 teachers – were abducted from schools in Nigeria by armed groups. The recent upsurge has triggered prolonged school shutdowns – and in turn led to a decline in school enrolment and attendance, as well as a rise in child marriage and pregnancies of school-age girls.
“Of the more than 1,500 school children who have been abducted in northern Nigeria since the Chibok attack, at least 120 students remain in captivity. They are mostly schoolgirls, and their fate remains unknown.
Of the 102 students who were kidnapped from the Federal Government College in Birnin Yauri, nine are still being held by their captors. One of the 121 students abducted from Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State remains in captivity.
“Five of the 19 students abducted from Greenfield University were murdered, while one of the 333 students kidnapped in Kankara was also killed. Five of the 276 students kidnapped in Dapchi were killed, while one student, Leah Sharibu, remains in captivity. And five of the 136 school children kidnapped from Salihu Tanko Islamiya School in Tegina have also been killed.”
Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho, said, “Nigeria is failing to protect vulnerable children. By refusing to respond to alerts of impending attacks on schools across the north of the country, the Nigerian authorities have failed to prevent mass abductions of thousands of school children.
“In all cases, the Nigerian authorities have remained shockingly unwilling to investigate these attacks or to ensure that the perpetrators of these callous crimes face justice.
“Every fresh attack is followed by further abductions that deprive school children of their right to liberty – and leave victims’ families with no hope of accessing justice, truth or reparations.
“The Nigerian authorities must take concrete steps to prevent the abduction of children and ensure that those suspected of criminal responsibility face justice in fair trials and rescue the hundreds of children who remain in captivity.”