UNICEF Executive Director, Mr. Anthony Lake, has raised the alarm on Boko Haram attacks targeting students and teachers in schools in northern Nigeria.
Lake said between 2013 and now, more than 200 teachers and 300 students had been killed in terrorist attacks in the north, while at least 338 schools had been destroyed.
Lake wrote in an opinion piece in Kenya’s Mail and Guardian that the insurgents “show no signs of stopping as they increasingly target innocent children – and education.”
He said, “The persistent threat of violence has disrupted the education of hundreds of thousands of students. And the unrelenting violence has traumatised thousands of children who have been witness to, and victims of these horrors in the region.”
According to him, the use of children as suicide bombers who target schools and particularly the case of the schoolgirls kidnapped by insurgents since April 14, 2014 calls for great concern.
He said, “In November (2014), another child was sent into the morning assembly at a school on a suicide mission, killing 48 pupils. In February, an attack on a college killed 45 pupils, some as young as 13.
“Innocent children, women and elderly people – who cannot protect themselves – were massacred. Village after village has been burned to the ground. And three young girls were sent to their deaths with explosives strapped to their bodies in so-called suicide bombings that killed scores of civilians.
“Over the past week, I hope you saw these news reports from northern Nigeria. For these are not random acts of brutality. The violence in northern Nigeria is constant. Attacks that leave hundreds dead and wounded are a near-daily occurrence. It’s been happening in Borno state for months.”
According to him, the future of Africa depends on the future of Nigeria as what affects Nigeria also affects neighbouring countries.