Dapchi abduction: NGOs call on FG to ensure safe release of girls

Soldiers (R) drive past a signpost leading to the Government Girls Science and Technical College staff quarters in Dapchi, Nigeria, on February 22, 2018.Anger erupted in a town in remote northeast Nigeria on February 22 after officials fumbled to account for scores of schoolgirls from the college who locals say have been kidnapped by Boko Haram jihadists. Police said on February 21 that 111 girls from the college were unaccounted for following a jihadist raid late on February 19. Hours later, Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam, said “some of the girls” had been rescued by troops “from the terrorists who abducted them”. But on a visit to Dapchi on Thursday, Gaidam appeared to question whether there had been any abduction. / AFP PHOTO / AMINU ABUBAKAR


Civil Coalition Action on Education for All and other NGOs have called on the Federal Government to ensure the safe release of Dapchi School girls abducted on Feb. 19.

The coalition in collaboration with One Campaign and Malala Fund, an NGO, made the call in Abuja on Friday at a news conference on the challenges in the country’s education sector.Boko Haram terrorist groups on Feb. 19 adopted 110 girls in Dapchi community, Yola, since then, they have not yet been rescued.

On April 14, 2014, 276 girls were abducted in Chibok community in Borno and 82 girls have been released.Mrs Chioma Osuji, the Policy Adviser of the coalition urged the government to step up measures that would lead to the rescue of both the remaining Chibok girls and recently abducted Dapchi girls.

According to her, girls are becoming endangered in the society because if they are not raped, abducted and given out to marriage at tender age, they will be given out as house helps.

“It is sad to note that education has received low priority attention both at national and states levels over the years.

“We are worried because as concerned citizens, the attacks on girls in schools in the North East will cripple the successes we have recorded in championing the cause for the education of the girl child.

“And if this is not urgently addressed, in few years to come, it might endanger girls/women participation and representation in our democratic processes.

“We are therefore seizing this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu to urgently come up with concrete measures to address the incessant challenges in the education sector.”

On the issue of education financing, Osuji said that no meaningful sustainable development would be achieved without investment in the education sector.

She, however, called on states government yet to access the Universal Basic Education Fund to do so to address basic education needs.

She said that over N70 billion was lying fallow at the CBN, while calling on states government to urgently meet up the criteria of putting their own counterpart funds to address basic needs in their states.

Mr Kabiru Aliyu, the National Moderator of the coalition, urged stakeholders in the sector to bring back the lost glory of education while also stressing the need to work on structures that would lead to development.

Aliyu also called on the Federal Government to come up with measures that would liquidate UBEC funds not accessed by states government to other states that need educational attention.He therefore said that education policies should be revisited and rewritten to better advance the course of education in the country.

Mrs Sarah Makka-Ugbabe, the Country Director, One Campaign, appealed to the government to ensure transparency and accountability of education budgeting.She also called on the citizens and the media to always have a responsibility of keeping the government responsible to their promises.

Also, Crystal Ikanih-Musa, the Country Representative, Malala Fund, said the abduction of Dapchi girls spoke volume of the level of education in the country; saying this must be addressed.

She appealed to the government to fast track the presidential ascent of its recommitment for Sustainable Development Goal 4, thereby ensuring all children were guaranteed 12 years free education.She called for support to address the abduction issues as a national emergency and remedy it.

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