By Ruth Oketunde
A former director of the British Safety Council, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, has told the British Government to deploy advanced technology to assist Nigeria to overcome `horrific’ school abductions, taking place in northern Nigeria.
Adeagbo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, while reacting to the latest kidnapping of students at Government Secondary School, Kaya in Zamfara in north-western Nigeria, where up to 73 students were kidnapped on Sept. 1.
She said that Britain should not watch helplessly as the country it brought to existence “passes through a depressing phase with incessant kidnappings and snapping of innocent school kids from classrooms.
“I call on British Prime Minister Borris Johnson to come to the rescue by deploying advanced British technology to tackle and end these shameful events in Northern Nigeria.
“The latest kidnapping in Zamfara State is deeply disturbing and Britain should not watch while these tragedies unfold endlessly and leave our kids ruined and parents devastated,’’ Adeagbo stated.
Imperial Britain colonised Nigeria and nurtured the country to amalgamation in 1914, making the country Africa’s most populous nation but the arrangement has faced serious problems after 107 years of existence.
“This is the time for the British Government to rise to the challenge and help one of the key nations of the Commonwealth of Nations that has been in deep trouble over the years.
“Kidnapping of innocent school children is totally unacceptable. Humanity must rise to the challenge and crush this problem which is destroying the future of young people.
“Nigeria needs help and the current tragic events in the country should not be allowed to fester because future generations of the country will be worse for it,’’ Adeagbo, Chief Executive Officer of UK charity, IA-Foundation, said.
She re-stated her appeal that government should close schools in ungoverned communities in Nigeria, especially in the north, where jihadist groups, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa are active.
Adeagbo, who is also the Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Nigeria-British Business Forum, argued that there was nothing wrong with the Nigerian Government reaching out to other countries for assistance in its moment of distress.
“The Nigerian situation has been going on for over a decade and thousands of innocent lives, especially women and children have been lost needlessly. Humanity is worse for it.’’
Adeagbo, a member of various UK charities also pleaded with Nigerians in the diaspora to prevail on their host countries to assist Nigeria in any way they could, to pull the “Giant of Africa’’ out of the woods.
She said that her group had been engaging with the Nigerian government over the years to find common ground for development, especially in the education sector.
Records show that no fewer than 1,000 children have been kidnapped in Nigeria since December, 2020, forcing many kids to stay out of school in the West African country.
Oil-rich Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in Africa, according to the country’s Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba. (NAN)