Dame Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs, on Monday lamented the growing wave of violent attacks of students, saying about 1,157 students have been kidnapped in seven years.
The Minister 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 show that between 2014 when the Chibok Girls were kidnapped to now about 1,157 students have been kidnapped in seven years.
She said there is a concerted efforts among stakeholders, including Ministry of Affairs, Zamfara state government, among others to ensure the kidnapped GSS Jangebe in Talata Marafa LGA of Zamfara State, continue with their education.
According to the Minister, closing down schools because of the spate of kidnappings would mean that 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.
“We were again woken up to yet another dastardly act of abduction of scores of school girls from Government Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Marafa LGA of Zamfara State in the early hours of Friday, 26th February, 2021. This is indeed a set-back in the gains made in advancing girl-child education in the country.
“The frequency of these kidnappings are meant to instill fear in our citizens and undermine our corporate existence and we will not be deterred. We call on our security operatives to make heed and treat this with all sense of emergency and justice to ensure this does not occur again. We hereby appeal to the conscience of the captors of our young innocent girls to release these children.
“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 the 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.
“From the available statistics between 2014 when the Chibok Girls were kidnapped to now about 1,157 students have been kidnapped in seven years. This is unbelievable and we must not stay silent anymore, we owe it to our children to push until something happens.
“The case of Rejoice Raymond, an old woman who allegedly runs a so-called Ministry where she pounds children inside a mortar for rituals is still fresh in our minds. As we speak, the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs is on top of the case alongside the Police Commissioner in Anambra State.
“I am also following up on the matter and will not rest on our oars to bring justice to these children and others who have suffered one form of violence or the other. One is tempted to ask what has happened to our humanity as citizens of a great Nation. Indeed, the lyrics of stanza 2 of the Women’s Anthem summarize the focus of the 2021 theme as it speaks to what women’s leadership brings to the table” she said.
Earlier, Mrs. Anthonia Ekpa, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Affairs, urged all women to raise awareness against inequality.
Ekpa noted that millennium development goals cannot be achieved without involvement of women.
Also, Comfort Lamptey, United Nations Women Country representative, noted that inequality among gender is growing by 70 per cent globally.
She 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.