​UNICEF worries over another attack on Jangebe Girls Secondary School

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, on Friday expressed worry over reports of an overnight attack at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, where an unconfirmed number of schoolgirls were kidnapped.

In a Press Statement, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said: “UNICEF is angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria.

“This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being. We utterly condemn the attack and call on those responsible to release the girls immediately and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren in Nigeria.

“Children should feel safe at home and at school at all times – and parents should not need to worry for the safety of their children when they send them off to school in the morning,”

Peter Hawkins added that “UNICEF acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of kidnapped schoolchildren in Nigeria and calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria.”

The school attack comes just over a week after a similar attack in Niger State on a school for boys. UNICEF is working with partners to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, currently estimated to be more than 300.

EFCC Chair: AYCF hails Buhari, tasks Bawa on performance

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum(AYCF) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a young man in the person of Bawa to head the EFCC.

In a media statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the group said the appointment of Bawa was an indication that time was ripe for “a shift from the old brigade to young turks, who have the productive energy to turn around the fortunes of this nation, at critical point in our development history”.

The AYCF, said as a youth group it is not only happy with the integration of young people in key governance roles but has confidence in “young, brilliant and experienced men and women in today’s Nigeria, just like Bawa”.

The group, however, called on the new EFCC boss “to justify the confidence reposed in him, not only by The Presidency, but also the Nigerian youth, who see him as one proof that young people can apply special skills to boost nation building”.

The group urged the EFCC boss to deal with the challenges of financial crimes across the nation, charge suspects to court, using strong evidence and avoid trial by the media – as was case before he came in.

The AYCF noted that President Buhari’s choice of an EFCC Chairman like Bawa was also an indication that Nigeria’s future would hopefully be bright, with the elderly playing mentoring and advisory roles while youths spin the wheel of governance”.

The AYCF then declared: “We are fully prepared to protect him because he is one of our own and we urge all Nigerian youth to rally around the EFCC boss with all their legitimate might.

“Our call for the EFCC boss is to go after all criminals and ensure they get punished for their sins against the Nigerian nation, regardless of how highly-placed they are and from whichever part of the country. He should pursue justice within the ambit of the law. This is our simple prayer”.

Covid-19 Response: Women Coalition Gets Traditional Rulers Support in Kaduna


The Coalition of women for Covid 19 Response in Kaduna State, on Thursday got the nod of traditional rulers in Kaduna State as they plan to respond to the second wave of Covid-19.

The group on Monday met with the Bunu Zazzau, Hakimi Doka, Alhaji Muhammad Tijhani, who assured them of the traditional institution’s support to achieve their objective.

According to the traditional ruler, “you can count on us for your support, we will continue to partner you and the government in ensuring we get that the right development in our state.

“Am glad we have a government who understand what development is and they are doing their best. Am delighted to have you here and I know whenever there is any development issues I will be your first point of call because we have worked together in many platforms. Any time you come knocking, our doors are always open for you.”

The coalition is a United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in partnership with the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office project on Strengthening state capacities and women’s participation in COVID response and broader peace building initiatives in Nigeria.

The programme is being funded by the UK Government, and is being implemented in Bauchi, Plateau and Kaduna State.

It is aimed at advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and addressing key gender issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, by supporting state governments to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision-making.

Convener of the group and a Consultant with the UN Women, Dr Lydia Umar, who led members to the group to meet the traditional rulers, said their overall objective is to support Government efforts in preventing the spread of covid 19 and its impact.

“To bring women from government, business and civil society under a collaborative platform for greater synergy in responding to covid 19. The Covid 19 has had several effects on all aspects of human life, disrupting normal functioning of all people especially the lockdown.

“The Coalition of 30 women members in kaduna was formed on 3rd February, 2021 supported by the UN Women to specifically respond to the new wave of Covid 19, help curtail its spread and mitigate its impact.

“Kaduna State Government has done so much that is exemplary and deserves commendation: the impressive representation of women on its State Executive Council (7 out of 14) 50%.

“And Covid-19 Task Force not less than 6, headed by HE the Deputy Governor, timely and proactive lockdown, public enlightenment on Covid-19 protocol, distribution of Palliatives and the building of a befitting isolation center.

“However more needs to be done to strengthen collaboration with women leaders in civil society and the private sector to ensure the needs and concerns of women and girls are adequately reflected in all Covid-19 prevention, response and recovery initiatives.

“Collaboration between Government and these women will ensure that economic recovery plans target the most vulnerable groups of women and girls.” Dr. Lydia, explained

Insecurity: Northern Governors’ to Partner Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Others

By Habila Victor, Kaduna

The Northern States Governors Forum has disclosed its plans to  partner with the traditional institutions, religious leaders and all relevant stakeholders in the entrenchment of communal harmony, peace and security of the region and the country at large.

Chairman of the forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State disclosed this on Thursday at the just concluded meeting between the Governors, Emirs, Chiefs and other stakeholders held at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.

Lalong said the decision became necessary considering the security challenges rocking the North, hence the need to put in effort to address the challenges bedeviling the Region.

The Forum resolved to put more efforts in enhancing the security and safety of all schools within their domains and therefore, urged the Nigerian Security Agencies to collaborate with the various States Governments towards achieving this noble objective.

The Governor’s reiterated their commitment towards inclusion of the rural dwellers especially farmers and herders through the provision of equitable opportunities for socio-economic and political participation both in public and private sectors.

They however, resolved to work assiduously and jointly with the Federal Government in tackling the challenges of insecurity in the Country to create conducive atmosphere for socio-political economic growth and development of the Country.

While appealing to their southern counterparts to extend their presence in the northern part of the country in order to enable harmonious and peaceful coexistence among citizens and other ethnic nationalities, the Governors reiterated commitments to work in synergy with the Southern Governors.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Speaker and other Members of the National Assembly, the Chief of Staff to the President, Minister of Information and Culture, the Inspector General of Police, Director General States Security Service, Chairmen of the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council led by His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto amongst others.