Amnesty International has condemned the Wednesday’s abduction of 42 persons by gunmen at the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, saying attacks on schools undermine right to education.
Its director, Osai Ojigho, urged the Federal Government to bring to justice, those responsible for the abduction and other human rights abuses, adding that the latest development has clearly shown that authorities are not doing enough to protect lives.
“We condemn this appalling attack, which is the latest in a string of attacks on schools in northern Nigeria. Attacks on schools and abductions of children are war crimes. Those found to be responsible for the abduction must be brought to justice for these and other human rights abuses.
“That this is coming only about three months after a similar incident at a school in Kankara, Katsina state, shows that authorities are not doing enough to protect lives. The children abducted are in serious risk of being harmed.
“Nigerian authorities must take all measures to return them to safety, along with all children currently under the custody of armed groups. Education is under attack in northern Nigeria.
“Schools should be places of safety, and no child should have to choose between their education and their life. Other children have had to abandon their education after being displaced by frequent violent attacks on their communities, and many teachers have been forced to flee to other states.
“The Nigerian authorities must act immediately to prevent attacks on schools, to protect children’s lives and their right to education.
“The protection of children’s lives is paramount, and the Nigerian government has a duty to ensure that the country’s educational sector is not further threatened by armed groups on rampage across northern Nigeria.
“The attack on Government Science College Kagara is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and it undermines the right to education for thousands of children in northern Nigeria.
“The abduction of students by armed groups can severely reduce the availability of and access to education for many children in northern Nigeria where violent attacks are escalating.”