To discourage the abduction of school children in Nigeria, the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC, advocates that the Safe Schools Declaration should be translated into a legal framework.

WARDC frowns at attacks on children

WARDC, a non-governmental organisation during a webinar on Monday about safe schools titled: “Shaping the Narrative on Safety and Security in Nigeria,” wants more than a policy statement from government to express its commitment in protecting students, teachers, and schools.

This advocacy comes after the abduction by bandits and subsequent release of about 137 school children in Kaduna to the State Government, and not directly to their parents.

The group also said that government should finance safe schools, because some relatives of the kidnap victims from Kuriga in Chikun Local Governmet Area of Kaduna State, had informed that schools in their community are not safe and conducive for learning for their children.

One of the parents, Garuba Ali, who spoke in Hausa language through an interpreter, Comrade Mustapha Muhammad is not happy that his nephew was kidnapped with other boys and school principal.

He claimed, “We are hearing from the government that the children are back and we believe they are back, but we have not seen them up till now.

“The governor came and visited the town to tell us to bear with them and have been calling the village chiefs.”

Ali narrated that the school is open, has no fence, was located in a remote village, lacks security personnel and that when the school were his relative attended was attacked, the teachers took to flight.

He informed that a person who heard gun shots and went to find out what was happening became a victim, as he lost his life to the incident.

A father, Aliu Mohammed narrated that his son was abducted too, but wants government to deploy security personnel, erect gates, as he said that the school had no form of security. 

WARDC, participants want psychological rehabilitation for victims

However, Habiba Balogun, the Principal Consultant Habiba Balogun Consulting, and a member of Bring Back Our Girls, advised that in a situation like the one that played out in Kaduna, government should speak to the primary stakeholders, “The parents should not be sidelined,” she said.

She recommended that government should provide psychological, psycho-socio support and conducive learning environment.

She urged citizens to mobilize for safe schools and advised Kaduna State government to set-up structured mechanism where parents can engage. She posited, “The village heads are not those who have responsibility for someone’s children.”

WARDC wants protection by fencing schools

Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Founder WARDC, who had done some interventions in Kaduna and Bauchi States lamented, “We had seen schools without perimeter fencing, and other threats that students are exposed to, even health issues.”

She frowned that not much of implementation of the National Policy on safety and secure schools had been seen.

“We found out that the school is not protected but religious places are protected, so our demand is that the policy should be translated into a law.

“Nigeria has a policy on safe schools, finance plan but implementation has been low,” she stated.

This informed the decision of the group to mobilize citizens to sign-up for petitions for the protection of schools in the country at

Culled from

By News Connect Online

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