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Child kidnappings in North heartbreaking disaster- UNICEF

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By Hannatu Sulaiman Abba

The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) has condemned in strong terms, the incessant kidnappings of children in Kano state and other parts of Northern Nigeria.

The Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Mr Maulid Warfa made the condemnation on Monday at Partnership and Network Strengthening Meeting with Kano media held at Horizon Hotel.

Mr Maulid described the increase in kidnapping of children as a heartbreaking disaster that needs urgent government’s intervention.

According to him, the issue of kidnappings and child labour in northern Nigeria is worrisome, noting that UNICEF lacks the power to stop it, but to support the government’s policies on child right and the victims.

“We condemn in, strongest terms, the incessant kidnappings of children and child labour in Kano state and northern Nigeria.

“In my life, I have never ever seen mass kidnappings of a number of children like this.We, therefore, call on the government to urgently address the problem.

“UNICEF is not a government. We don’t have the power, we don’t have the arms to stop kidnappings. We just support the government’s policies. We can only support the victims of kidnappings and child labour, especially when they are traumatized, we can support them overcome that problem,” Warfa said.

On the issue of almajiri, Warfa described the issue as “complicated and multi-faceted”, commending the Kano state government for its resolve to integrate the almajiris into formal education.

Mr Maulid said the Fund is working with the Kano state Ministries of Women Affairs and Education as well as Governor’s Office to make sure that children are integrated into formal education in the state.

” It is a long-term programme. It will indeed take time before it is modernized due to the fact that there are social, cultural, religious and financial issues.

“The same method is applied to child labour and child hawking. We are making an effort in collaboration with the state government to ensure these problems are mitigated.

” We always go out to the authorities and policy makers in a bid to find lasting solutions to all problems bedevilling the children,” he said.

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