#IWD2021: Malami Explains Why Bandits Target Schoolchildren

Amid calls to secure the nation, the Federal Government has disclosed the rationale behind the various abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls and male students across the country.

On March 2, 279 schoolgirls in Jangebe, Zamfara State were abducted and eventually released by bandits. This is even as Nigerians are still expecting the freedom of about 112 schoolgirls abducted from a school in Chibok, Borno State, in 2014.

These developments have been strongly criticized by the international community and calls have been made for government to be proactive in securing schools.

But the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Monday assured the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime that the government was committed to ending all forms of insecurity in the country.

Malami spoke at an event organized by the UN Office in Kyoto, Japan, to commemorate this year’s International Women Day.

The AGF said bandits’ and terrorists’ motive for kidnapping schoolchildren was most likely targeted at damaging the country’s educational prospect.

“Another emerging area of grave concern is the abduction and kidnapping of teenagers in boarding houses for ransom. The perpetrators targeted this group of people possibly to scare them from schooling. This is indeed a sad situation.

“The Nigerian armed forces and law enforcement agencies are working day and night to combat insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping and abduction of people in the country.

“We must work to prevent both male and female perpetrators from carrying out these acts and support those who have been victims,” he said.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the AGF said in a bid to protect the rights of women and the girls, the Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the Complex Case Group were established by the Federal Ministry of Justice to “help Nigeria to address the crime.”

He also noted the role of women in assisting in government’s drive to address terrorism.

“The Nigerian National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism notes the important role women play not only as policy-makers and law enforcement officers, but also wives and mothers in preventing violent extremism and in de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders,” the statement partly read.

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