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Published On: Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014

100 days since Chibok schoolgirls abducted, FG must keep schools open – ActionAid

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Abducted schoolgirlsBy Tobias Lengnan Dapam  with agency report

The kidnapping and other attacks by Boko Haram have affected not only the families of the girls in Chibok but also in surrounding areas, the ActionAid has said.

The thought of going to school is terrifying thousands of girls and ActionAid said yesterday, adding that many parents living in the area are now reluctant to allow their daughters to go to school for fear of them being abducted or killed.

“Schools in Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa states in the north-east of the country remain closed for security reasons, despite a new “safe schools” initiative launched by the government in May.

According to ActionAid’s Country Director in Nigeria, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, “The Nigerian government must not only do more to find the girls and bring them home, they must invest in developing and securing schools against attack.”

Eight hundred classrooms and 200 schools in Borno and Yobe states have been destroyed by Boko Haram since 2013. Since February last year, more than 15,000 children have stopped attending class in Borno state alone.

The government’s response to these horrendous attacks on schools has been to allow them to stay closed, which ActionAid believes is playing into the hands of the extremists.

“While we appreciate the government’s new initiative on securing schools in the north-east, it is vitally important to keep schools open to stop Boko Haram achieving its objective of preventing children getting an education,” said Dr. Abdu.

ActionAid is also calling on the government to stop criticism of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, which it has accused of trying to undermine the government. ActionAid is part of the coalition which is holding protests every day in the capital Abuja to maintain awareness about the plight of the girls.

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