“The Kagara school attack – like that of Government Girls’ Secondary School Jangebe in Zamfara State Friday, and others before it – shouldn’t have happened”, says UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Peter Hawkins.
Hawkins in a statement has expressed his relief over the release of the 27 School children of the Government Science College who were taken by gunmen from their School a week ago.
The Representative while wishing the released children a safe reunion with their families condoled with the family of the slain student, Benjamin Habila, who was shot dead during the overnight attack on the school.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Benjamin, who have suffered a huge loss”, noted Hawkins.
According to him, “The Kagara school attack – like that of Government Girls’ Secondary School Jangebe in Zamfara State Friday, and others before it – shouldn’t have happened in the first place because children shouldn’t be the target of attacks, least of all in a place they ought to feel safe – a school”.
The UNICEF boss observed that attacks on educational facilities are a grave violation of children’s rights.
“Children”, he pointed out, “should never be the target of attack – and yet, far too often in Nigeria, they are precisely that – victims of attacks on their schools.
“Such attacks not only negate the right of children to an education, they also make children fearful of going to school, and parents afraid to send their children to school.
“Schools must be safe places to study and develop, and learning should not become a perilous endeavour”, Hawkins advised.
“As we welcome the news of the release of the abducted Kagara students, I urge government to expedite action on the release and safe return of the kidnapped students of Government Girls Secondary School Jangebe, and all abducted school children yet to be released”, the UNICEF boss pleaded.