As demonstrators march through the Nigerian capital Abuja calling for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by militants two weeks ago, ActionAid Nigeria’s Country Director, Dr Hussaini Abdu, said: “ActionAid utterly condemns the abduction of more than 200 girls from their school in Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria.
“The government must do everything in its power to find and rescue the girls and in addition must immediately implement special protection mechanisms to safeguard the lives and education of all children in Nigeria, particularly in the vulnerable north-east region.
“The north-east of Nigeria is already lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of education enrolment, retention and completion, particularly of girls. In this area parents are already reluctant to send their daughters to school because of cultural and religious reasons. For example many believe that girls should be married at a young age and therefore they drop out of school.
“The government must guarantee children’s right to education through adequate funding and provision of basic facilities such as toilets for girls and female teachers.”
The anti-poverty charity ActionAid has been working for many years to enable girls in Nigeria to enrol and succeed in school.