From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has condemned, in strong term, the incessant kidnappings of children in Kano state and other parts of Northern Nigeria.
Speaking yesterday at Partnership and Network Strengthening Meeting with Kano media, Chief of Field Office, Maulid Warfa, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, described kidnappings of children as heartbreaking disaster that needs urgent government’s intervention.
According to him, the issue of kidnappings and child labour in northern Nigeria is worrisome, noting that UNICEF lacks the power to stop it, but to support the government’s policies on child right and the victims.
“We condemn in, strongest time, the incessant kidnappings of children and child labour in Kano state and northern Nigeria.
“ In my life, i have never ever seen mass kidnappings of a number of children like this. We therefore, call on the government to urgently check the problem.
“UNICEF is not government. We don’t have the power, we don’t have the arms to stop kidnappings. We just support government’s policies. We can only support the victims of kidnappings and child labour, especially when they are traumatized, we can support them overcome that problem,” Warfa said.
On issue of almajiri, Warfa has described the issue as “complicated and mutlifaceted”, commending Kano state government for its resolve to integrate the almajiris into formal education.
He disclosed that the UNICEF is working with the Kano State Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Education and Governor’s Office to make sure that children are integrated into formal education in the state.
“ It is a long-term programme. It will indeed take time before it is modernized due to the fact that there is social, cultural, religious and financial issues.
“The same method is applied to child labour and child hawking. We makenefforts, in collaboration with the state government to ensure these problems are mitigated.
“We always go out to the authorities and policy makers in a bid to find lasting solutions to all problems bidevilling children,” he assured.