Nigeria: More than 12 million children are afraid to go to school

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THE President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Bukhari, claimed that more than 12 million children with “mental trauma” are terrified at the idea of ​​going to school in the country. Students tremble at the idea of ​​how to treat them kidnap criminal gangs for ransom.

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The first group abduction of students in its most populous country Africa dates back to April 2014, when the Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a school in Chewing gum, a case that sparked the international campaign #BringBackOurGirls.

Since then, attacks on schools “have increased in number and are spreading throughout the northern part of the country,” he said. Bukhari, in the context of an international Conference on school safety in Abuja, its capital Of Nigeria.

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As a result, “more than 12 million children are currently suffering from mental illness and are afraid to go to school, especially girls“, The Nigerian President continued, without specifying exactly in which area or in which age group he refers.

In addition to the jihadists who dominate the northeastern part of the country, where their stronghold is located, armed gangs have been raiding the northwestern and central parts for years. Of Nigeria, launching attacks, looting villages and committing kidnappings for ransom, especially in school facilities.

Since the beginning of the year, these criminal organizations have abducted more than 1,400 students, according to Unicef. According to experts, many underage girls who drop out of school get married before they reach adulthood. “About 44% of girls in Nigeria get married before the age of 18,” one of the highest rates in the world, the group said in a statement. Save The Children.

Most of the abducted students were released from their captors after negotiations, but “even if they set free“the mental trauma remains for a long time”, he stressed Bukhari.

The former general, who was elected president in 2015, assures that he will make school safe “priority” recognizing “that it is difficult to manage these security challenges and their consequences”.

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