One of the 21 Chibok school girls released by Boko Haram carries her baby during their visit to meet President Muhammadu Buhari In Abuja, Nigeria October 19, 2016.
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Chibok girls: Make schools safe, UNICEF urges FG, as 109 girls still in captivity 8 years after

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appealed to the authorities in Nigeria to make schools safe and provide a secure and conducive learning environment for every child in the country, especially for girls.

The UN organization made the appeal as part of activities marking the eight years of the abduction of Chibok girls in Borno State.

Persecondnews recalls that on April 14, 2014, 276 female students aged 16 to 18 were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria, by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

About 57 of the schoolgirls escaped immediately after the incident by jumping off the trucks they were being transported, others were rescued on different occasions, while 109 girls are still in captivity eight years after.

UNICEF in a statement, signed by the its Country Representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, on Thursday, noted that girls have particularly been targeted, thereby exacerbating the figures of out-of-school children in Nigeria, 60 percent of whom are girls.

“Today marks eight years since the first known attack on a learning institution in Nigeria on 14 April 2014, in which 276 students at the Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in North-East Nigeria were abducted by a Non-State Armed Group.

“Since then, a spate of attacks on schools and abductions of students – sometimes resulting in their deaths – has become recurrent in the last two years, especially in the North-West and North-Central regions of Nigeria.

“Since December 2020, 1,436 school children and 17 teachers have been abducted from schools, and 16 school children lost their lives.

“Unsafe schools, occasioned by attacks on schools and abduction of students, are reprehensible, a brutal violation of the rights of the victims to education, and totally unacceptable.

“Their occurrences cut short the futures and dreams of the affected students.

“Attacks on learning institutions render the learning environment insecure and discourage parents and caregivers from sending their wards to schools, while the learners themselves become fearful of the legitimate pursuit of learning.”

“The invisible harm school attacks inflict on the victims’ mental health is incalculable and irredeemable,” the statement said.

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