ActionAid Nigeria, an anti-poverty agency, has said that beyond being a heinous crime, the killing of dozens of school children in Yobe State is a violation of the rights of children to life and education – rights for which the government is ultimately responsible.
In a statement issued by the organisation, the Country Director, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, said, “In the past eight months, over 100 students have been killed in different attacks on schools in the North-East. The perpetrators should, of course, be brought to justice, but the government, at all levels, must also be held accountable; it is their duty to protect the lives and education of children. A duty they are utterly failing to uphold.”
The North-East of Nigeria is already lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of education enrolment, retention and completion. ActionAid warns that the present insecurity and dangers will undermine education of children in the region. More than 200 schools have been destroyed in Yobe and over 800 classrooms destroyed in Borno State. Since February 2013, over 15,000 children have stopped attending classes in Borno State alone.
Every child has the right to learn in an environment free of danger. ActionAid Nigeria demands that the Federal Government uphold its obligations as a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and immediately implement special protection mechanisms to safeguard the lives and education of our children in Nigeria, particularly in the vulnerable North-East region.
Dr. Abdu stated, “As Nigerian citizens, we must consciously hold the government at all levels to account and demand that the government go beyond rhetoric and take concrete steps to end this senseless violence.”
ActionAid sends its heart-felt condolences to the parents and loved ones of the victims of this tragedy.