Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki has bemoaned the continued ordeal of over 200 Chibok school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram in Borno State, over 590 days ago.
Mrs. Saraki who is also the Founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, stated this when she represented the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, as the Special Guest of Honour at the premiere of “Searching” – a film that vividly depicts the realities and struggles of the girl child in Nigeria.
She stated that while securing the release of the girls by security agencies is the most important step for now, schools must be protected to provide safe and quality education for all Nigerian children.
She also called for increased access to education and the protection of the rights of the girl child through the removal of social and structural barriers in girl’s education in the country.
While urging relevant authorities to make schools a safe haven for learning a priority, Mrs. Saraki recounted the ordeal of the 200 girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Borno State over 590 days ago.
She said: “Their kidnap and the continued assault against the rights of young children to an education by Boko Haram is part of a wider conversation that we must continue to have in Nigeria and all over the world.
“Securing the release of every girl kidnapped by Boko Haram is the expected step, but we must return the focus to securing our schools and protecting the right to a safe, quality education for all of our children. This will ensure that the horrors of Chibok never happen again”, he said.
Expressing great concern about the plight of the girl child in Nigeria, Saraki’s wife further stated, “As a nation, we must focus on developing the policies and initiatives that can empower girls and give them the tools that they need to lead.
“As a nation, we must collaborate, unite to break the culture of silence over the rights and welfare of our young girls. We must continue to speak up and speak out against early marriage for our young girls.
“We must summon the inner will to say NO to children giving birth to children. Storytelling is one way of driving these messages home and we must not be tired of telling their stories,” she stated.
The movie launch which was organized by the Love to the World Initiative, at the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja, focused on the girl child.
According to the organizers, the theme of the movie “Searching” is both significant and timely, considering the commencement of the 2015 United Nations 16 Days of Activism on the 25th of November – the day which marked the 2015 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and girls.