Alarming number of children have been reportedly abducted by bandits during an attack on Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Rafi LGA of Niger state.
The bandits invaded the school located at Tegina on Sunday evening.
While it is not clear how many students were taken hostage, but it is understood that the bandits operated for hours.
They arrived in their numbers on motorcycles and started shooting sporadically into the air.
Mary Noel-Berje, chief press secretary to the state governor, confirmed the attack to TheCable.
She, however, said that the exact number of kidnapped students is yet to be verified.
“We are still waiting for more information but as it is now, it has been confirmed that there was an attack,” she said
“I wouldn’t know (the number kidnapped) but I was told about 200, six of them who could not continue with the trekking were killed in the bush.”
Wasiu Abiodun, spokesman of the state police command, also confirmed the incident, adding that tactical teams have been mobilised to the location to rescue the victims.
He said in a statement: “On 30/05/2021 at about 1500hrs, armed bandits on board motorcycles in their numbers invaded Tegina town, Rafi LGA shooting indiscriminately and abducted a yet to be ascertained number of children at Salihu Tanko Islamic school, Tegina. The bandits shot one person dead in the process.
“However, the Command has immediately mobilized all tactical teams including operation puff 2 to the location for rescue of the victims.
“The Command also calls for calm as the Police and other security agencies shall do everything humanly possible to ensure that the children are rescued unhurt.”
1.3 million children affected by attacks on schools in Nigeria —UN
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has condemned the incessant attacks on schools and kidnappings that have affected thousands of children in the country.
In a statement commemorating the 2021 International Day to Protect Education from Attack on Thursday, Kallon said 1.3 million children had been affected by attacks or abductions in Nigerian schools in the last academic year.
Kallon urged the Federal Government to review the progress made in implementing safe schools under the UN declaration and fully put into practice commitments made in 2019 by taking decisive action to protect education from attack.
He stated, “I strongly condemn every form of attack that has kept many children away from schools. I call on the Federal and State Governments to do more to protect schools from attack and to ensure that teaching and learning is safe and conducive in all schools in Nigeria.”
The Resident Coordinator observed that “whenever teaching and learning is disrupted, the impact on human capital development is enormous as the recovery period is always tortuous and longer than the length of the initial disruption.
“Children are traumatized; parents are scared; teachers and school administrators are afraid; attacks on schools are gradually spreading to areas not known to insurgencies. With education under attack, the collective future of Nigeria is under threat. This must stop now!”
According to him, the right to education is always under attack, especially in conflict-affected areas.
He said, “With over 10 million children already out of school, the conflict has aggravated the situation and deeply affected education and the prospects of many young people, especially its most vulnerable ones. In the last academic year, it is estimated that 1.3 million children have been impacted by attacks or abductions at schools in Nigeria.
“Across the north-east region alone, over 600,000 children remain out of school and some 1.1 million need educational support to stay in school. This has all been compounded by the setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
OAU sacks lecturer over sexual harassment
The management of Obafemi Awolowo University has dismissed another lecturer, Dr Adebayo Mosobalaje, over sexual harassment.
A statement issued by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that the decision to relieve the lecturer of his duty was reached at the University Council sitting on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
It reads “In its avowed determination to rid the University of any form of sexual intimidation, harassment and, or coercion, the Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has dismissed another lecturer who was found guilty of sexual demeanor against a female student.
“The decision to dismiss Dr. Adebayo Mosobalaje of the Department of English Language in the Faculty of Arts, was taken by the University Council at its last sitting on Tuesday, 7th September, 2021.
“Having exhaustively deliberated on the report of the Joint Committee of Council and Senate, which investigated the case of sexual harassment against Dr Mosobalaje, the University Council, unambiguously declared its zero tolerance to sexual harassment in any form or guise and, accordingly, applied the appropriate University sanctions for such an offence as contained in the University regulation.
“The University Management had about two weeks ago formally inaugurated an Anti – Sexual Harassment Policy, where their excellencies, Erelu Bisi Fayemi (the wife of Ekiti State Governor) and Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola (the wife of Osun State Governor) presented papers while a former Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Professor Yemisi Obilade was the main speaker.
“Also, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede had at several fora, reiterated the commitment of his administration to uphold the “Zero tolerance policy” for Sexual harassment and other social vices. The Council of University Chaired by Owelle Oscar Udoji has also pledged to support policies that promote mutual co-existence between all the members of the University Community.”
30 boarding schools shut down over insecurity
30 boarding junior secondary schools in Adamawa State have been shut down over insecurity.
In a statement by the commissioner of education and human capital development, Mrs. Wilbina Jackson, the closure will take effect from September 6, 2021 till further notice.
The state government’s action came amidst escalating banditry in the country, resulting in the kidnap of hundreds of school children across many states.
“The Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, wishes to announce that 30 boarding junior secondary schools out of the 34 schools in the state, have been de-boarded with effect from 6th September, 2021. From now henceforth, all the 30 government junior secondary schools are now day schools.
”The remaining four that are not affected are Government Girls Junior Secondary School Yola, General Murtala Mohammed College Yola, Special School Jada and Special School Mubi.
“This becomes necessary due to the present incessant security challenges faced by the country and owing to students’ tender age, hence the need for them to study under the care of their parents.
”All students from the affected schools are to be placed in the nearest public junior secondary schools within their catchment or domicile areas. Stakeholders, PTA, ANCOPS and others are to ensure compliance with this government policy,” the statement said.