Seven years after 276 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok, Borno state, Amnesty International says the Nigerian government has failed to protect schoolchildren.
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in the northeastern state.
In a statement to mark the seventh anniversary of the abduction, Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said there is no accountability for crimes committed against children by Boko Haram and other gunmen.
“The Nigerian authorities’ failure to protect schoolchildren from recent attacks clearly shows that no lessons have been learned from the Chibok tragedy,” Ojigho said in the statement.
“The authorities’ only response to schoolchildren being targeted by insurgents and gunmen is to close schools, which is increasingly putting the right to education at risk.
“Between December 2020 and March 2021, there have been at least five reported cases of abductions in northern Nigeria. The threat of further attacks has led to the closure of about 600 schools in the region. Whatever authorities are doing to tame this tide, it is not working.
“The Nigerian authorities risk a lost generation, due to their failure to provide safe schools for children in a region already devastated by Boko Haram atrocities.
“Schooling should not be a matter of life and death. The government must demonstrate its commitment to protecting the right to education in Nigeria by properly investigating these attacks and holding those responsible to account.”
By Abel Ejikeme