WOMEN AND LEGAL AID GROUP WANTS AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE THE ABDUCTION

WOMEN AND LEGAL AID GROUP WANTS AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE THE ABDUCTION

A legal and advocacy rights group, Women and Legal Aid, WELA, on Tuesday called on the African Committee on Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, ACERWC, to undertake a fact-finding mission to Nigeria to establish the circumstances surrounding the abduction of over 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi Village in Yobe State.

In a letter made available to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday, the group urged the committee, which is a unit of the African Union Commission, to request the Nigerian government to highlight steps taken to ensure the release of the school girls.

The letter, dated March 12, was addressed to Benyam Mezmur, the chairperson of African Committee on Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, ACERWC, African Union Commission.

Over 100 school girls were abducted in Dapchi village in February after the school was invaded by suspected Boko Haram members. The government of Yobe initially announced that the girls had been rescued but it turned out to be a hoax.

WELA on Tuesday said it wants the AU commission to put pressure on the Nigerian government to secure the release of the girls.

The organisation also described the abduction as a sign of failure of the Nigerian state in protecting Nigerian school children, reminiscent of the 2014 abduction of girls in Chibok community.

“We believe attacks on schools place children at risks of injury or death and affect children’s ability to obtain an education,” the group said.

Oladeinde Olawoyin / Premium Times

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