AS GENERAL Mohammadu
Buhari prepares to take over
government from outgoing
President Goodluck Jonathan
this Friday, United Nations
Children Fund, UNICEF, has
called on the incoming All
Progressives Congress, APCled
government to ensure
adequate protection of girls
and women from Boko
Haram terrorists.
UNICEF also expressed
concern over the increasing
number of Nigerian girls and
women being used in suicide
bombing attacks.
According to a statement
issued in Abuja yesterday,
the fund stressed that the
frequency and intensity of
suicide attacks involving
women and girls had
increased sharply this year,
as it noted that girls and
women had been used to
detonate bombs or explosive
belts at crowded locations,
such as market places and
bus stations.
The statement reads: “As
the incoming president of
Nigeria is expected to be
sworn-in this week, UNICEF
calls on the Nigerian
authorities to place the safety
and well-being of all children,
especially those affected by
the crisis in the North-East,
at the centre of the political
agenda,” the UN agency said.
The agency also noted that
more women and children
had been used as suicide
bombers in the North-East in
the first five months of this
year than during the whole
of last year.
According to reports
collated by UNICEF, in
2014 26 suicide attacks were
recorded, compared to 27
attacks as of May 2015, and
that in at least three-quarters
of these incidents, women
and children were reportedly
used to carry out the attacks.
“Children are not instigating
these suicide attacks; they are
used intentionally by adults
in the most horrific way.
They are first and foremost
victims – not perpetrators,”
the UNICEF representative
in Nigeria, Jean Gough said.
It noted that since July
2014, nine suicide incidents
involving children aged
between, approximately,
seven and 17 years, all
of them girls, had been
reported, though it noted
that their identity and exact
ages had not been verified,
as estimates “are based
primarily on eyewitness
The UNICEF added
that an estimated 743,000
children had been uprooted
by the conflict in the three
most affected states in
Nigeria with the number
of unaccompanied and
separated children likely to
be as high as 10,000.

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