Kidnapping: Orphanages and Homes Operators cry out - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Monday, 1 March 2021

Kidnapping: Orphanages and Homes Operators cry out


By Paul Ukpabio


The Association of Orphanages and Homes Operators in Nigeria, ASOHON, has cried out to the federal government over the growing rate of kidnappings and abductions that have been taking place in recent times around the country.

Speaking to newsmen during a press conference, Dr. Gabriel Oyediji, the National President of the Association condemned the growing menace in the country.


“We are a fully registered child focused association that has the approval and recognition of the states and federal governments. Our membership comprises men and women of proven integrity and undiluted commitment to the elevation of humanity. These great men and women unite strongly against child trafficking, child abuse, child labour, oppression against vulnerable children, fake orphanages, and such other problems that militate against the proper development of the child,” he said.


The President went further to lament the sad state of the Nigerian child. He said that the Nigerian child has never been so vulnerable and so insecure in the history of our great nation.


“Never before has the psyche of the Nigerian child been so badly affected by insecurity and horrific scenes he sees every day. The ever-growing insecurity in the land, the brutish situation we have found ourselves, has exposed the child to gory pictures of death and violence across the country such that the Nigerian child, quite unfortunately, has become a major victim of the disturbing situation.“


He pointed out that not only is the Nigerian child orphaned by circumstances that can be controlled, but his parents are kidnapped for ransom, attacked and killed by career criminals!


“The Nigerian child has now become the primary target of these criminals. When in April 2014, 276 students of Government Science Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the world was horrified, and warned that it must never happen again. Then, it happened again in Government Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State. Then, it happened again in Kankara, Katsina State, where about 800 students were abducted. And just last week, it was the turn of Kagara in Niger State. In all these cases, the criminals targeted students, endangering children whose only offence is to be in school to learn. There was no assurance that Kagara would be the last. And it hasn’t been!


“That is why we are using this medium to appeal to our President, President Muhammadu Buhari, the state governors, as well as all the country’s security agencies to wake up and safe Nigerian children. They are our future and they must be protected by all means, at all times. And they must not be made to grow in an atmosphere of fear.


“Kidnappers have now included orphanages and homes in their checklist of terror. They now raid orphanages and abduct children for ransom. This is a new cancer, a horrible phenomenon threatening the future of Nigerian orphans. If orphanages are now being targeted and, therefore, made unsafe, then where else is safe? This is a new cancer traumatizing children. It needs an urgent cure before it begins to spread like wild fire. We call on the relevant authorities to help protect our orphanages and homes.” Dr. Oyediji added.


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