Monday, April 3 2023: 10 students at Government Secondary School, Awon, Kaduna State, Nigeria (a day secondary school) in Kachia Local Government Area of the state were kidnapped on .
Friday, April 7, 2023, a group of bandits abducted no fewer than 80 children from the Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Nigeria.
It was gathered that the children who were between the ages of 12 and 17 were reportedly in the bush fetching firewood at around 8:00 a.m. when the bandits rounded them up and led them away into the forest.
The bandits are yet to reach out to the parents of the children to make any demand.
SENSES (Child Safeguarding and Protection Principle)
The safety and protection of our precious children are not negotiable. Yet Nigerian schools today remain unsafe as children keep getting attacked and kidnapped with little or no efforts made by the government to address this issue.
Secondly, our precious children, who were attacked in Zamfara, were said to be fetching firewood in the bush when they were attacked? The question here is, were they accompanied by adults(primary or secondary parents)? The rule of Child Safeguarding and Protection is that children cannot be left unaccompanied. It is usually a ratio of 2 adults to 10 children.
STONE (Call to action)
The primary aim of government as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the welfare and the security of the people. People include our precious children.
It is time to insist through advocacy that our governments at all levels live up to the purpose of governance.
Parents, relevant stakeholders, and the media must call on the government to put in place and implement security measures aimed at ensuring the safety of our precious children at all times, particularly within the school system.
We must begin to think about how to implement nationwide Child Safeguarding and Protection System, codified into a policy, subject to periodic review, broken down into processes on which every stakeholder within the school system is trained regularly to inculcate Child Safeguarding and Protection as a culture, understand their roles and how to play the same effectively bearing the best interest of the child in mind always.