The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Nigerian authorities to ensure the safe return of the abducted students and staff of Government Science College in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
Following their abduction in the early hours of Wednesday, SERAP asked the government to ensure that after the abductees have been secured, the kidnappers should be apprehended.
“Nigerian authorities must locate and ensure the safe release of many students and teachers reportedly abducted by armed men who attacked the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State. We’ll hold the Nigerian Government to account if the students are not urgently rescued.
“The abductors must be arrested and brought to justice. Victims must be granted access to justice,” SERAP stated.
According to the rights organization, the incident, which started at about 2:00am on Wednesday, suggests that Nigerian authorities are failing to live up to their commitments to provide safe a learning environment.
“The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels, and in the process, one student was reportedly killed while others were wounded.
“The gunmen reportedly gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination. They wore military uniforms and entered the school premises, which has about 1000 students, and overpowered the security guard.
“Nigerian authorities must probe the reported spending of N3.2bn on Safe School Initiative in 2014, and publish details of spending to date on the Initiative. Public funds budgeted for the Initiative have clearly not achieved a safe school environment for children in the country,” a SERAP statement read in part.
The advocacy group further stressed that attacking students and teachers is a crime against humanity, adding that such attacks inflict severe psychological distress on victims, and cause interruptions in education.
SERAP asked the Nigerian authorities to ensure a safe school environment for students and teachers.