Amidst the ongoing Boko Haram and herdsmen’s onslaught in several parts of the North and the consequent high casualty of children victims, a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE Nigeria) has urged the government at the various levels to scale up its rescue and rehabilitation processes.
“Recent information indicate that many children who survive this most inhuman and wanton attacks are stranded on the streets of many states in the North and the Middle Belt with no food and no roofs over their heads. Many are still trapped in bushes and we haven’t heard the last about the 20 abducted Borno girls,” said Toluwani Eniola, CEE-HOPE’s media officer in a press release in Lagos.
The statement also made references to the February 25 killings, involving 59 students of the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, the most recent killing of 69 people in Katsina State involving Fulani herdsmen , as well as that of last week’s in Kaduna State villages which claimed 114 lives; the July 6 2013 attack at Mamudo Government Secondary School in Yobe where at least 41 children and one teacher were killed; the 29 September 2013 Gujiba College massacre where suspected gunmen entered the male dormitory in the College of Agriculture in Gujiba, Yobe State, killing at least 44 students and teachers; the Baga massacre of April 19 to 20, 2013 in Borno State where over 228 people were murdered as well as the first major onslaught on March 8, 2010 in the Dogo Nahawa in Plateau State where more than 500 villagers including several children and children were murdered among several others in the last four years.
‘This country is sworn to national and international laws, treaties and edicts that guarantee protection of citizens, especially the most vulnerable including women, children and the aged. The rate at which children are been slaughtered, maimed, orphaned and displaced almost on a daily basis in many parts of the North is scandalous. Relevant agencies at the federal, state and local government levels must stop the blame games and provide adequate security, rescue and rehabilitation for the survivors and, more importantly, work towards preventing a re-occurrence. The Women Affairs Department mustn’t remain dormant in the face of these atrocities and neither should they be stomached anymore as our humanity is already being questioned world-wide. We must halt this drift to insanity in our dear country Nigeria,” the statement added.
The group also called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enlarge its capacity to cater adequately to meet increasing needs.
“NEMA has tried its best in the light of this most ugly situation but there is obvious need to expand its staff and volunteer capacity, increase the areas of its operations beyond just immediate responses to providing rehabilitation and resettlement for children in and outside refugee camps to as much as possible, normalize their lives,” it further said.
CEE-HOPE also called on corporate bodies, international agencies, well-meaning Nigerians, religious institutions and others to assist affected children.