Yobe school attack: Groups hold govt responsible

The group Action Aid has condemned last week’s militant attack and killing of dozens of school children in Yobe.

The group called the attack a “heinous crime” and a violation of children’s right to life and education.

It also said government was responsible — for failing to safeguard children’s rights.

“The perpetrators should, of course, be brought to justice, but the government, at all levels, must also be held accountable,” said the group’s country director, Dr Hussaini Abdu.

“It is their duty to protect the lives and education of children. A duty they are utterly failing to uphold,” he added.

Meanwhile, United Nations Children’s Fund called the attack “unacceptable.”
“Many young lives were lost. Many more students and teachers are deprived of their right to education,” said UNICEF’s regional director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine.
“Attacks on children and schools are unacceptable under any circumstances.”

Fontaine added, “When a school is under attack and students become targets, not only their lives are shattered—the future of the nation is stolen.”

Since June last year, four attacks have resulted in school closures affecting “thousands of students, many of whom have had no access to formal learning for months.”

More than 100 students have been killed in separate attacks on schools in the North East of the country, according to ActionAid, which said the situation undermined education in the region.

Fewer children enrol, stay in or complete school in the north east than other regions, said ActionAid.

Since February last year, more than 15,000 children stopped attending classes in Borno state alone, where more than 800 classrooms have been destroyed.

More than 200 schools have been destroyed in attacks in Yobe, said ActionAid.

“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,” said Abdu.

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