98 Chibok Schoolgirls Still in Captivity

It has been nine years since 276 schoolgirls were abducted from their dormitory in Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria, by Boko Haram terrorists.

Development Diaries reports that since the Chibok abduction, 96 girls remain in captivity, and insecurity continues to keep children away from schools in parts of Nigeria.

School children have continued to face nightmares as children are still being kidnapped, forcibly recruited, killed and injured, with their futures taken away from them.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in April 2022, said insecurity had caused the closure of 11,536 schools in Nigeria since December 2020.

It also noted that the security challenges in Nigeria have affected the education of 1.3 million children in less than two years.

Figures from UNICEF revealed that since 2014, there have been over 2,400 incidents of grave violations verified, affecting over 6,800 children in Nigeria’s northeast.

It noted that the most common violations are recruitment or use of children by armed groups with 700 verified cases, followed by abduction of children, with 693 incidents, and killing and maiming.

In a report to commemorate the event, Amnesty International (AI) noted that the number of girls still in captivity reveals the utter failure of the Nigerian authorities to ultimately protect children.

The Nigerian government has committed to invest N144.8 billion ($314.5 Million) towards the Safe Schools Financing Plan.

The government endorsed the plan in March 2015 as a commitment to safeguarding education in armed conflict.

Nigeria is therefore obliged to ensure programmes and policies to prevent and respond to attacks against schools and to fight impunity for such attacks.

However, three years after its ratification, the federal government has failed to implement the emergency programme that was meant to increase access and quality of education of over 40 million school children.

Development Diaries calls on the government to implement the plan of action and the National Policy on Safety, Security, and Violence-Free Schools.

Source: UNICEF

Photo source: BBC

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