No less than fourteen students out of those abducted alongside their teachers from the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, since June 17, 2021 are yet to regain their freedom from their abductors.
The continued detention of the students was made known on Thursday by Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, while presenting his keynote address at the national campaign on out of school children in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.
This was contained in a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Ben Bem Goong.
According to Nwajiuba, bringing every child on board the ship of education is a national priority that every stakeholder must take seriously.
He called on all hands to remain on deck for the release of the remaining 14 students.
He, however, said the Federal Government was determined to free all the children being held in captivity by terrorists.
Recall that gunmen had at the time abducted over 100 students and eight teachers from the school.
However, some of the students escaped from the gunmen during the abduction while others were rescued by security operatives.
Also, on October 21, 2021, the bandits released 30 of the students.
Nwajiuba said, “My heart and soul are with all Nigerian children who are still in captivity. I stand with the parents in the circumstance. The government will continue to do all it can to free our children who are being held for what they know nothing about.”
He said no nation could make meaningful progress with a high number of its youth as illiterates.
According to the minister, the high number of out-of-school children was inimical to the growth and development of any nation.
Nwajiuba maintained that the Federal Ministry of Education was determined to ensure that all children of school age, who are out of school, are returned and retained to complete their basic and secondary education and possibly transit to tertiary institutions.
The minister called for synergy amongst stakeholders especially communities where such children exist to ensure that they are given the necessary support to achieve education, adding that this is the only way the country can achieve a better, reliable, developed and peaceful society.
The minister also called on state governments to upscale efforts in supporting the Federal Government in the task of educating children, adding that education was a collective responsibility.