Jet Stanley Madu
The Proprietress of Saint Cecilia’s Academy, Ibadan, Oyo State, Mrs. Patricia Nwachukwu has warned that the incessant abduction and kidnap of schoolgirls portend danger to the girl-child education in Nigeria.
She called on the Federal Government to deploy all apparatus of state security to effect the release of the rest of the over 200 Chibok, Dapchi schoolgirls and every other persons still in the abductors’ dens.
Mrs. Nwachukwu who retired as a principal, special education in 2,000 to start Saint Cecilia’s Academy, Ibadan, Oyo State, further stated that the current volatile situation in the country also posed threat to education in general.
She described the series of kidnappings and abductions of female students as a clog in the efforts to equip them for the task of nation-building.
The educationist contended that to sit, watch and just accept the evil being perpetuated against the girl-child education amounted to mortgaging the future of the nation. She was of the view that education could serve as tool to ending acts of terrorism.
Nwachukwu blamed the high level youths restiveness and the near chaotic situation in the country to lack of sound early child training and parental guidance.
She also fingered trafficking in person and women as another factor which militates against girl-child education.
According to her, “daily, women and girls are being trafficked in their thousands. And the girl-child is the most trafficked. This heartless venture which sees many of our young girls ferried to faraway lands denies them the opportunity of going to school.”
She said in the last three years, the organisation she belonged to, Ladies of Saint Mulumba, has been going to schools, churches, markets.
“We pay particular attention on women and children -boys and girls of school age. We’re doing this because our children, especially, girls are being ferried away in thousands to other shores. Rather than go to school, those girls are engaged in unholy chores, concubinage and sex trades in those lands.’’
The educationist who also pointed to the volatile state of the nation, particularly the north, where she said many students have been scared out of classrooms, spoke on the need not to allow the present hostilities penetrate institutions of learning.
She recalled a war situation where her brother’s life was spared by fellow students.
“One of my brothers, now a consultant physician was among the first Biafran boys who were drafted to the Nigeria/Biafra war. During the war, he was almost rounded up by the Nigerian soldiers.
“At some point, his classmates at the University of Lagos -Yoruba boys- told him: “Chris Otikpo, step back, we have rounded you up. But, at night, they brought food for him. Now, tell me, was that war? There, you see love and oneness. But, today, even the National Youth Service Corp programme has been marred by hostilities. Now, Corp member consider it as life-threatening to go to serve in some parts of the country. This is sad,” explained.