Human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, says it is concerned that frequent abductions in Nigerian schools is a danger to the education of millions of children.

Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 that attacks on schools and abductions of children are war crimes that should not be tolerated.

Her comments were made in the wake of the abduction of 27 students of the Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State on Wednesday during an attack that left one student shot to death.

Three staff members and 12 members of their families were also abducted at the school located in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger.

Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, says the government must protect the rights of Nigerian children [Amnesty]
Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, says the government must protect the rights of Nigerian children [Amnesty]

Ojigho sounded a note of warning that Nigerian authorities must act immediately to prevent attacks on schools, and protect children's lives and their right to education.

"The abduction of students by armed groups can severely reduce the availability of and access to education for many children in northern Nigeria where violent attacks are escalating," she said.

She said authorities must ensure the safe return of all abducted children, and their kidnappers are brought to justice.

Nigeria's history of school abductions

The Kagara abduction is the latest in a string of high-profile attacks on schools in Nigeria, especially in the northern region.

Hundreds of schoolboys kidnapped in Katsina were in the custody of bandits for a week in December 2020 [Punch]
Hundreds of schoolboys kidnapped in Katsina were in the custody of bandits for a week in December 2020 [Punch]

340 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina were similarly abducted by gunmen in December 2020 before they were released a week later after negotiations with the government.

113 schoolgirls were also abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in Dapchi, Yobe in 2018, but 107 of them were released one month later.

While five of them died in the course of the abduction, the remaining hostage Leah Sharibu remains in captivity.

112 girls also kidnapped in Chibok, Borno in 2014 remain in captivity nearly seven years after 276 of them were taken from their school hostel by Boko Haram terrorists.