From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, yesterday, lamented the growing wave of violent attacks of students, saying no fewer that 1,157 students have been kidnapped in seven years.
She called on women across the country to raise their voice in prayers against incessant kidnapping and banditry, saying God must intervene to end the menace.
Dame Tallen, who stated this during a press briefing in commemoration of 2021 International Women’s Day, with the theme: Zero Discrimination Day’ lamented that available statistics showed that between 2014 when the Chibok girls were kidnapped to now about 1,157 students have been kidnapped in seven years.
She said there was concerted efforts among stakeholders, including Ministry of Affairs, Zamfara State government, among others to ensure the kidnapped GGSS, Jangebe, continue with their education.
She said closing down schools because of the spate of kidnappings would mean the terrorists would have won the war, stressing that the initial agenda of the evil men is to stop Nigerian children from going to school.
“As the minister of women affairs, my heart is torn into pieces at the mindlessness of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity. We will continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari as he continues to pilot the affairs of our great nation. While commending the efforts of all those who were involved in this rescue mission, we are appealing to our leaders at all levels to pay attention to the infrastructural development and security of our schools. These schools contribute largely in shaping the mindsets of students and must be properly furnished and secured to provide a holistic development of the Nigerian child.
Earlier, Anthonia Ekpa, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Affairs, urged all women to raise awareness against inequality.
She said millennium development goals cannot be achieved without involvement of women.
Comfort Lamptey, United Nations Women Country representative, said the recent wave of abduction will hamper girls rights to education, adding that 30 million children were out of school in the last few years half of which are girls.
Lamptey called for immediate and unconditional release of the over 300 girls abducted from Zamfara school.