The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Friday expressed concern over the abduction of over 300 students at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
In a statement, UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, condemned the attack, describing it as “a gross violation of children’s rights”.
He said UNICEF was working to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, currently estimated to be more than 300.
The statement read: “We are angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria. This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being.
“We utterly condemn the attack and call on those responsible to release the girls immediately and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren in Nigeria.
“Children should feel safe at home and at school at all times – and parents should not need to worry about the safety of their children when they send them off to school in the morning.
“UNICEF acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of kidnapped school children in Nigeria and calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria.”