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As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has stated that the incessant kidnapping of students from their schools, especially girls, is indeed a set-back in the gains made in advancing girl-child education in the country

This is just as she noted, that these schools contribute largely in shaping the mindsets of students and must be properly furnished and secured to provide a holistic development of the Nigerian child.

The Minister who said this while briefing Journalists on the lineup of activities ahead of the International Women’s Day 2021, as well as marking the “Zero Discrimination Day”, March 1, appealed to Nigerian Leaders at all levels to pay attention to the infrastructural development and security of schools, so as to nip the frequent kidnapping of school children in the bud.

While noting that the frequency of these kidnappings are meant to instill fear in the citizens and undermine our corporate existence, she called on the security operatives to make heed and treat the matter with all sense of emergency and justice to ensure that it does not reoccur.

According to her, “Today, 1st of March is designated as “Zero Discrimination Day” and going by the current unrest in our dear country, we are burdened by the ongoing terror attacks and insurgencies on the lives of citizens especially our children!

“Even as we rejoice over the release of the recently abducted Students and Teachers of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State, we were again woken up to yet another dastardly act of abduction of scores of school girls from Government Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Marafa LGA of Zamfara State in the early hours of Friday, 26th February, 2021.

“As the Minister of Women Affairs, my heart is torn into pieces at the mindlessness of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity. We hereby appeal to the conscience of the captors of our young innocent girls to release these children”.

She disclosed that from the available statistics, between 2014 when the Chibok Girls were kidnapped to now, about 1,157 students have been kidnapped in seven years, adding that it is unbelievable. “We must not stay silent anymore, we owe it to our children to push until something happens”, she said.

The Minister called on all mothers to stand up and lend their support to protect the rights of every child and citizen of this great Nation. “We must unite and keep our differences, so that we can together, win this war against terrorism which has permeated our society. We must go back to the drawing board to ensure that we guard the sanctity of our God-given roles”, she said.

Speaking further on the IWD, she noted that Nigeria as a member State of the United Nations, will join other countries of the world on March 8, to take stock of how far women have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development.

This year’s theme, she added, beams a searchlight on the tremendous efforts made by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

In her words, “The theme is aligned with the priority theme of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which calls for Women’s Right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.

“The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs as the National Machinery through which the Federal Government of Nigeria addresses issues and concerns of women and children and other vulnerable persons will in the next few days roll out activities to mark this day”, she disclosed.

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