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Over 200 Schoolchildren Held Captive By Bandits – UNICEF

Over 200 Schoolchildren Held Captive By Bandits – UNICEF

About 200 schoolchildren were still being held by bandits in the country, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has said.

The agency in a statement issued by its Communication Specialist in Nigeria, Samuel Kaalu, said 1,000 schoolchildren have been abducted by bandits in the past nine months.

The UN agency while commenting on the release of 91 students of Salihu Tanko Islamiya School, Tegina, in Niger State by bandits, the count was from abduction between December 2020 and August 2021.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, also condemned the death of one of the schoolchildren, who died in the hands of the captors.

The statement read, “Children who went in search of knowledge were abducted at their school, which is supposed to be a safe place for them, while exercising their fundamental right to an education.

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“They spent 88 days in the hands of their abductors before being freed yesterday, Friday. It is a tragedy and utterly unacceptable that one of these children died in captivity.

“Hayatu Hashimu was just six years old at the time of his death.

“We rejoice with the families whose children have been freed and express our deepest condolences to little Hayatu’s family, who have just suffered the worst loss on top of the tragedy they have gone through for the last 88 days.

“No family should lose a child just because it took the right decision to send that child to school. Schools should not be a target. Children should not be a target. Education is a fundamental right of every child and any attack on an educational institution is a violation of that right.

“We reiterate our call to authorities take all necessary measures to ensure schools are safe for all children.”

Hawkins said UNICEF officials would work with it partners to provide mental health, psychosocial support and counselling services to both the freed learners and their parents.

About Author

Ife Ogunfuwa is an award-winning reporter who is versed in reporting business and economy, technology, gadgets reviews, telecoms, tax, and business policy review, among others. She loves telling stories behind the numbers. She has professional certifications in business and financial reporting. You can reach her via – [email protected]

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