As kidnapping of schoolchildren, particularly in northern Nigeria persists, the United Nations has warned that the future of Nigeria is under threat.
In a statement on Thursday, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, said that kidnappings had affected hundreds of schoolchildren in a number of states in Nigeria.
He spoke on the occasion of the 2021 International Day to Protect Education from Attack, which takes place every September 9.
The statement was titled, ‘UN condemns attack on schools, calls for more efforts to protect students and ensure uninterrupted teaching and learning.’
Kallon said, “Attacks on schools are a direct attack on the future generation”, adding that “it is traumatic for the children, undermines their individual dignity, and sometimes leads affected families to withdraw them from education entirely.”
He said, “I strongly condemn every form of attack that has kept many children away from schools. I call on the Federal and State Governments to do more to protect schools from attack and to ensure that teaching and learning is safe and conducive in all schools in Nigeria.
“Whenever teaching and learning are disrupted, the impact on human capital development is enormous as the recovery period is always tortuous and longer than the length of the initial disruption.
“Children are traumatised; parents are scared; teachers and school administrators are afraid; attacks on schools are gradually spreading to areas not known to insurgencies. With education under attack, the collective future of Nigeria is under threat. This must stop now!”
At least 1,000 schoolchildren have been reportedly abducted by bandits between December 2020 and now, while several states in the north have since shut down their schools.