By Peter Usman/:
Amnesty International, a global rights organisation, on Tuesday syayed that education in northern Nigeria is under threat, following the abduction of over 300 students in Katsina state.
It was reported that over three hundred students were abducted by gunmen last Friday.
However, a terrorist group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for the abduction, saying it took no fewer than 500 schools boys.
“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet,” Mr Abubakar Shekau, the terrorist group’s leader was quoted saying.
Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Ms Osai Ojigho, who condemned the attack, said “schools should be places of safety and no child should have to choose between their education and their life”.
“We condemn this appalling attack, which is the latest in a string of grave human rights abuses by Boko Haram. Since 2012 hundreds of teachers, schoolchildren and students have been killed or wounded by Boko Haram, and thousands of children have been abducted. Attacks on schools and abductions of children are war crimes. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for several attacks on schools in the past and must be brought to justice for these and other human rights abuses.
“These children are abducted in serious risk of being harmed and being forced to become child soldiers. Nigerian authorities must take all measures to return them to safety, along with all children currently under the custody of Boko Haram.”
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“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 Boko Haram and other armed groups.
“The attack on Government Science Secondary School Kankara 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 and the destruction of school property by Boko Haram can severely reduce the availability of and access to education for many children in northern Nigeria where violent attacks are escalating,” the statement read.