•Wants speedy action on safe return of Chibok, Kankara abducted Children
By Chhristiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to urgently implement the Safe Schools Declaration to protect children and teachers in the country from attacks and ensure that their education continues without hindrance at all times.
The House also asked the government to expedite action on the safe return of all abducted school children in the country right from the incidents of Chibok school girls to the most recent one at Kankara Town in Katsina State.
The House equally wants the government to forward the Safe Schools Declaration to the National Assembly for ratification and domestication.
The resolutions of the House was as a result of a motion of urgent public importance on the need for the government to bring under control, attacks on educational institutions, insurgency, banditry and kidnapping across the country, sponsored by Hon. Musa Sarkin Adar and 75 others.
Presenting the motion, Kebbi informed disclosed that in March, 2019, the Federal Government ratified the Safe Schools Declaration to support the protection of students, teachers and schools from attacks during times of any kind of armed conflict.
He traced the history of kidnap of school children saying “in April, 2014, a Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State was attacked and 276 female students were kidnapped.
“ In February, 2014, yet another attack was recorded where dozens of students were murdered at the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State and classrooms set on fire.
“Also in February, 2018, at about 5:50am, 110 school girls aged between 11-19 years were kidnapped from the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State. Other schools that have suffered similar attacks include Babington Junior Secondary School, Ikorodu, Lagos State, Turkish international Secondary School, Isheri in Ogun State, Lagos State Senior Model College, lgbonla in Lagos State and Government Girls Secondary School, Moriki in Zamfara State”.
He said further that the most recent attack on Friday, December 11 2020 in a Government Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State where hundreds of the students were reportedly kidnapped by bandits, while Zabarmari, Beni Sheik, Potiskum Market and a host of other places In the North East have also come under attacked resulting in the cold blooded murder and abduction of innocent Nigerians;
Expressing concern over numerous reports of kidnappings and bandit attacks in Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and a host of other places, he said it was sad that “till date, about 112 Chibok school girls are still missing, while 2 years after, one of the Dapchi girls,’Leah Sharibu is still in captivity.
According to him, the attacks and kidnappings going on in the country appeared to have taken such a dangerous dimension that the security agencies seem to be overwhelmed and warned that the incessant attacks on communities schools and in fact education itself are tragic consequences of a protracted security challenge that has left the country traumatized.
He worried that more educational facilities are being threatened by bandits and Boko Haram, leading to the closure of most schools and depriving hundreds of thousands of children their right to education.
He expressed concern that the security challenges in the country, particularly in the North, “are backsliding into the former state of affairs before the coming of this Administration in 2015”, adding that despite efforts of the security Chiefs, they seem to be losing the aggregate public opinion in the country.
He argued that since the schools must remain safe places, the Federal Government must ensure that they are free from conflicts and violence, adding that attacks on schools is a violation of humanity and basic decency, therefore ‘the Federal Government must put a stop to the senseless attacks on the hopes and dreams of a generation of children.