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Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction’s Commemoration: UNICEF Calls for Intensified Protection of Nigerian Children

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Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction’s Commemoration: UNICEF Calls for Intensified Protection of Nigerian Children

By: Michael Mike

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for intensified efforts to protect the country’s most vulnerable population—its children.

The call was made in a statement marking the 10 year commemoration of the abduction of schoolgirls by terrorist group Boko Haram from Chibok, Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.

The statement read that: “As Nigeria marks 10 years since the mass Chibok abductions in the Northeast, 90 girls remain in captivity, and the country is recovering from another abduction of schoolchildren in Kaduna state in March of this year. UNICEF is calling for intensified efforts to protect the country’s most vulnerable population—its children.

A report, Minimum Standards for Safe Schools (MSSS) Monitoring Report released by UNICEF on Monday revealed a stark reality that the journey toward ensuring every Nigerian child can learn in a safe environment is far from over.

The report showed that just 37 per cent of schools across 10 states have early warning systems in place to identify threats, such as school attacks.

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate said: “The kidnapping of the Chibok girls was a wake-up call to the severe risks our children face in their pursuit of education,” adding that: “Today, reflecting on this tragedy and other recent abductions, it is evident that our efforts to safeguard our children’s futures must be amplified. Given these alarming statistics, we must address not only the symptoms but also the root causes of this crisis. Education is a fundamental right and a crucial pathway out of poverty. Yet, for too many Nigerian children, it remains an unattainable dream.”

The analysis looked at six result areas – strong school system, violence against children, natural hazards, conflict, everyday hazards, and safe school infrastructure – and uncovered significant disparities in the implementation of safe school standards across Nigerian states.

It shows Borno State, with a 70 per cent fulfilment of the standards, exemplifies a strong commitment to child safety amidst adversity. Yobe State also demonstrates promising progress. In contrast, Kaduna and Sokoto states lag significantly, with fulfilment rates at just 25 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively. In addition to the finding on early warning systems and conflict, the report shows that while schools perform relatively well in terms of training school-based management committees on safety and responding to children’s well-being concerns, only 14 per cent of the participating schools across the 10 assessed states have functioning, safe, accessible infrastructure and just 36 per cent have school staff trained on natural hazards.

According to the statement, “the analysis comes on the heels of disturbing reports of violence affecting schools with brazen abductions of students on the rise. In the last 10 years, conflict-related violence has led to more than 1,680 children abducted while at school and elsewhere; 180 children killed due to attacks on schools; an estimated 60 school staff kidnapped and 14 killed; and more than 70 attacks on schools, according verified reports by the United Nations.

“The threat of abduction of students is severely affecting children’s learning. As of 2021, over one million children were afraid to return to school, and in 2020, around 11,500 schools were closed due to attacks, according to Policy Weekly by Nextier.”

UNICEF Nigeria therefore called for the government, partners, and the international community to take decisive action to: Ensure all schools across all states have the resources and tools to fully implement the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools, focusing on the most vulnerable regions; Address critical gaps in safe school infrastructure, preparedness for natural disasters, conflicts, and comprehensive approaches to violence against children; Strengthen law enforcement and security measures to protect educational institutions and communities from attacks and abductions.

“Prioritize education and child protection in national policies and budget allocations to create a safer, more inclusive environment for all Nigerian children; Ensure the continuity of education and learning when schools are shut through multiple learning pathways such as radio and TV programmes and through digital platforms like the Nigeria Learning Passport.”

UNICEF said it is working with the government to ensure that every child can access safe learning environments, adding that it has supported the inauguration of state safe school steering committees and the drafting of state costed implementation plans for safe schools in 13 states, as well as provide school grants, safety kits, training and awareness raising to accelerate the implementation of the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools.

NigerianMunduate said: “As we remember the Chibok girls and all children whose right to education has been compromised, let this somber anniversary serve as a catalyst for change. However, we must acknowledge the recent abductions, which underscore the persistent vulnerability of our schools. To ensure that schools are safe havens, strong political will and proper implementation of safe school standards are essential. Together, we can restore trust between educational institutions and the communities they serve, ensuring schools are sanctuaries for learning and growth.”

Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction’s Commemoration: UNICEF Calls for Intensified Protection of Nigerian Children

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

By: Yahaya Wakili

Gadodomasun Fika Emirate Council in Yobe State, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, has appealed to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene in the construction of the Potiskum modern market.

“I will not forget the first tenure of His Excellency. During his campaign, we went round all of Yobe State, rural and urban, and he made promises to the people of Potiskum town, a modern market, because Potiskum is a center of commercial business in Yobe State. And by the grace of God, His Excellency has fulfilled his campaign promises.

Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, who is also the former chairman of the NARTO Potiskum local government chapter, made the call in Potiskum while speaking to Newsmen on the one year of the second tenure of His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON.

Abdullahi Garba Alele further said that His Excellency Governor Buni laid the foundation stone for the construction of modern markets in Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu’a, Nguru, Geidam, and Buni Yadi, and by the grace of God, all these modern markets have been completed and commissioning, and people have occupied them and businesses have raked off inside.

“But our own for Potiskum town, which has the longest history in business with a high population of people, businessmen, and farmers, but up to now this modern market has not been completed, the work has stopped as a result of what we don’t know, the contractor has abandoned the work. Therefore, we use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene and call on contractors to resume work on site.” Alele said.

The former NARTO chairman said that in the history of Potiskum, God blessed Potiskum with transports, because in the 774 local government councils that we have in the country, there is no local government that has transporters like Potiskum. We thank God, and we thank His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni for considering this thing critically. He constructed us a trailer park in Potiskum, and we thank him a lot.

“But I am assured to His Excellency that this project has stopped. Therefore, we appeal to His Excellency to intervene in this matter to complete these two projects before the end of his three years in office, so that people can benefit from this development. He prayed to Almighty Allah, and as His Excellency completed his five years successfully, we also prayed to Almighty Allah to guide and help him complete the remaining three years successfully.

Gadodomasun also commands His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika, and Chairman Yobe State Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Idrissa CFR, in his efforts to unite the people and the traditional rulers in Yobe State, and also prays to Almighty Allah (SWT) to give him health. He also prays to Almighty Allah to long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, long live Yobe State, and long live Potiskum local government.

Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, and President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Yobe North Senatorial District, has today met with the Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Matawalle, MON, and his team to discuss the implementation of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act 2023.

In a statement issued and signed by him on his official page, which was made available to newsmen in Damaturu,.

The DICON Act, which was signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in November 2023, is a major step towards enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces to produce their own equipment and reduce dependence on imports.

During the meeting, the minister of state for defense briefed me on the progress made so far on the implementation of the DICON Act.

“I commended the minister, members of his team, and other stakeholders present for the swift action taken to implement the DICON Act. I emphasized the urgent need to make DICON a catalyst for the industrialization of the defense sector in Nigeria.

The President of the 9th Senate pledged that the Senate Committee on Defense, which I chair, will continue to provide legislative support and oversight to ensure the successful implementation of the DICON Act. We believe that a vibrant and self-sustaining defense industry is essential for the security and prosperity of our nation.

Senator Ahmed Lawan also seized the opportunity to inform the minister and his team that the Senate Committee on Defense will embark on a familiarization tour of the ministry next week.

He urged the minister to leverage the expertise of Nigerian engineers, scientists, and manufacturers in the development of indigenous weapons and equipment. This will not only boost our national pride but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

The DICON Act has the potential to transform the defense sector in Nigeria. By working together—the Senate, the Ministry of Defense, and other stakeholders—we can make this transformation a reality.

Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

By: Michael Mike

A delegation, to be led by a representative of the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, leaders of the Nigerian Students Union in UK, will visit the Management of Teesside University to intervene on the allegations of unfair and unjust deportation order served on some Nigerian students, in the middle of their studies .

The decision was taken at the end of a virtual meeting held between Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Representative of the Nigerian High Commission UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, President, Nigerian Students Union UK, Mr Yemi Soile, and many of the affected students at the meeting on Sunday.

The affected students passionately narrated their ordeal and were optimistic of a positive intervention.

During the meeting , Chairman NIDCOM appealed to the students to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands while appealing to the University to treat the students with justice and fairness. Ambassador Okeke spoke in the same vein.

On May 22, some students of Teesside University from Nigeria staged a protest following the directives by the University authorities for them to leave UK on the allegations that some of the students defaulted in paying their school fees.

FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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