Advertisement

International Christian Entity Calls “for action” to Stop Attacks on Schools in Nigeria

The shoes of children abducted from Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna. Photo: Bosan Yakusak.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an international human rights body that advocates for religious freedom, has launched a global campaign calling “for action to stem” attacks that target learning institutions in Nigeria. 

In the newly launched “Sing for Freedom” campaign, the leadership of the Christian entity is also bringing to the world’s attention the continued captivity of Leah Sharibu and the Chibok Girls

"Sing For Freedom is calling for action to stem the scourge of abductions targeting educational establishments in Northern and Central Nigeria, that have resulted in over 1,100 students kidnapped for ransom and at least seven killed since December 2020," CSW officials say in their Thursday, October 22 report.   

In the report, the CEO of CSW-USA, Kori Porter, says the campaign, which is expected to end on November 7 “is a challenge to everyone, everywhere, to raise their voices for freedom." 

"We want to see Leah, the Chibok Girls and the many other students who have had their lives threatened and education interrupted, returned home," Mr. Porter says. 

Advertisement

Leah is one of the 110 girls who were abducted from the Government Girls’ Science and Technology College (GGSTC) Dapchi in Yobe State by Boko Haram on 19 February 2018. 

While most of the girls were released the following month, on 10 March 2018, Leah, aged 14 at the time of her abduction, did not regain her freedom for reportedly refusing to convert to Islam.

Around 100 girls who were abducted from the Chibok Girls Secondary School, Borno State, are also said to remain captives seven years after they were kidnapped. 

In the October 22 report, Mr. Porter says the "crisis cannot be allowed to continue." 

"When ordinary people raise our voices together, we make these issues heard and put them on the agenda of the policymakers who can make a difference. Join us and sing your song for freedom,” the CSW official says.

More in Africa

UNICEF estimates that one million Nigerian students could miss school in the 2021-2022 school year due to increased abductions. 

In June this year, the country’s Minister of State and Education said  the West African nation has the highest number of out of school children in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

According to the Global Citizen report, Nigeria's insecurity and the COVID-19 are leading causes of the high numbers of out of school children. 

In the October 22 CSW report, followers of all religions across the globe are encouraged to sign a petition and to raise awareness about violations of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB).

Believers around the world have also been urged to join "American gospel artist KB and others in a singing challenge on social media."

Advertisement

As part of the campaign, on October 28 October, CSW is expected to lead "a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission in London, and a letter calling for urgent action to address student abductions will be delivered to the ambassador." 

Meanwhile, CSW Nigeria is expected to mark the International Religious Freedom Day on  October 27 with a concert of “prayer and song”, with some families of freed students in attendance.