Disturbed by the spate of girl-child kidnappings in the country, the senate on Thursday resolved to summon the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Army Staff to brief it on the actual situation of things and in addition present clear operational strategies to rescue the remaining Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls within two weeks.
Resolution of the upper legislative chamber followed a motion titled: “2018 International Women’s Day with the theme: Press for Progress Now” by Senator Binta Masi-Garba (APC Adamawa North), and cosponsored by eight others, but read by Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South).
It therefore mandated its Committees on Police Affairs; Security and Intelligence to invite the top security chiefs for investigation on the kidnapping of school girls.
Leading debate on the motion, Senator Olujimi, noted that March 8, is the International Women’s Day, a day that honor the achievements and calls attention to the rights of women.
She expressed concern that the spate of girl-child kidnappings in Nigeria has assumed an alarming dimension.
She recalled that “On the 21st of February, 2018, the nation was shocked with the news of the kidnap of 110 school girls from Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Busari Local Government Area of Yobe State. This incidence is reminiscence of the 2014 Chibok Girls abduction in which 113 of the girls is stilt in captivity almost four years after”.
Senator Olujimi, who is the Senate deputy minority whip lamented that a pattern is gradually being, established which clearly indicates that the objectives of the Boko Haram insurgents is to deprive young girls of school age from pursuing education.
She therefore warned that if this ugly trend is not checked, the girl-child education which is part of the objective of goal number 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) would have been lost in Nigeria even before the 2030 target year.
The lawmaker noted that policies are needed to promote women’s access to education, innovative technologies and practices, decent work and climate-resilient jobs and protect women from violence in schools and work places.
According to her, the implementation of policies that prohibits violence against women and girls and promotes the girl-child education is still very poor.
“Practices such as violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation, early child and forced marriage, female genital mutilation are still being practiced”, she said.
Contributing, Senator Ali Aidoko (PDP Kogi East) noted that women needed to be celebrated for their unique roles in the society, lamenting that they have long been marginalized, shortchanged and therefore needed to be supported.
This, he said has become necessary “because women and children are always the victims of terrorism, kidnapping and war”, adding that we need to protect our women, it is just unfortunate that this is the only country where women are not protected”.
In his remarks, the deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary agreed that women are needed to be celebrated due to their unique accomplishments in all facets of life.