Plan International, a non-governmental organisation focused on girls’ rights had said that Nigerian government has not learned from its past experiences.
Making references to the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in 2014, and a similar occurrence in Dapchi Secondary School in 2018, the organisation said the government should have put in place adequate security to prevent the attack that occurred in Katsina over the weekend.
Bandits had, on Friday, attacked Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina, with over 300 students still not seen as of Sunday afternoon.
Hussaini Abdu, Plan International’s Country Director in Nigeria, said the government should have learned from the previous occurrence and put in place security measures to ensure safety in schools.
“The abduction of students of Government Boys Science Secondary School in the Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State by unknown criminals is an indication that the nation and government has not learned from the unfortunate incidents of abduction of 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in Borno State in 2014 and another set of 110 girls at the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College. Dapchi, Yobe State in 2018,” he said.
“Following the two previous incidents and other occurrences of the kidnap of students in boarding schools across the country, the Nigeria government by now should have put in place adequate security arrangements to ensure the safety of children learning and kept in the care of schools and education authorities everywhere in the country, especially in such locations susceptible to attacks by non-state armed groups.”
According to Abdu, Nigeria is one of the first countries to endorse the Safe School Declaration on May 29, 2015, where governments promised to ensure protection and continuation of education in conflict situations.
He called for a headcount of the students to determine how many of them are missing, and urged governments at all levels to ensure the safe return of the missing students.
“It is time that the governments at both federal and states across the country prioritise ensuring the protection of schools and also build capacities of communities to protect schools as well as in early warning signals,” he said.
“It is unacceptable that students in our schools are still being abducted and the whole nation appears helpless.”