President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the ugly incidents of kidnapping of students in Nigeria, revealing that over 1,400 pupils have been abducted between December 2020 and October 2021.
The president disclosed this at a recent conference themed: ‘Ensuring Safe Education for All: From Commitment to Practice,’ done in collaboration with the African Union and the governments of Nigeria, Norway, Spain and Argentina.
Buhari who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, bewailed that the development has led to over 12 million children being traumatised and afraid to go to school.
He pledged to protect children and educational facilities to improve quality education in Nigeria.
He said: “The incessant attacks on the country’s education system, such as kidnapping, abduction of pupils/students, increased activities of insurgents and general insecurity in our schools have exacerbated many factors responsible for the growing number of out-of-school children.
“It is no longer news that at will, bandits, kidnappers and terrorists invade our educational facilities to abduct the learners in large numbers. Some places that have been hit by this menace include Chibok, Dapchi, Buni Yadi, Afaka, Kagora, and Jangebe in Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states respectively.
“Permit me to share with you a report released by S.B. Morgen, which revealed that a total of 1,462 learners and education personnel were abducted between December 1, 2019, and September 2021 in school-related abductions as well as home and community-related abductions of learners and teachers.
“The highest number of abduction in a single kidnap (327 learners) was recorded in Zamfara while Kaduna has experienced the greatest number of incidences of attack on education.
Speaking further Buhari noted that the nonformal educational schools were also affected with records of 17 lives of teachers and learners lost to abduction.
“Non-formal education was not spared from attack as about 200 students of Islamiyya School, Tegina, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, were abducted on May 30, 2021. A total of 17 lives of teachers and learners have been lost in these abductions.
“On the other hand, for learners currently in school the fear and trauma created by having their fellow students and friends attacked, has impacted negatively on the quality of schooling as concentration and attention span for learning in such conditions have certainly waned.”