Call it a day for the release of kidnapped students and you won’t be totally wrong! We woke up yesterday to the “cheering” news that bandits have finally released the pupils kidnapped at an Islamiyya school in Niger after spending 86 days in captivity,
students kidnapped from the school of Agric in Zamfara and some Bethel secondary school students. All these happening almost simultaneously on the same day.
As usual, we saw pictures of the clothes hurriedly sewed for the victims as they were ferried to government house and fed. You can be rest assured that someone has become a billionaire from the contract to clothe and feed released kidnapped students. This is however not the reason for this post this morning.
What plans do we have in place as a country to help these victims recover from their traumatic experiences? Beyond the optics, is there a program in place to help resettle these victims? Do we just tell the parents to take their kids and thank God that they survived?
I am throwing a challenge to the ministry of Health, the ministry of Education, the ministry of Humanitarian affairs and the ministry of women affairs to develop a victim support program to help these children. Some of them may have been destroyed for life unfortunately. We can’t be so irresponsible as a country as to just allow these kids back to their normal life without some form of support that includes both psychological, emotional and physical.
The parents are also not left out. Most of them have become economically destitute in a bid to raise outrageous sums as ransom. I can’t begin to imagine what these parents have gone through. How does a parent function waking up each day to the gory reality that their kids are in the den of kidnappers?
Nigeria has failed both the children and the parents. But a victims support program can be a starting point of trying to remedy a bad situation.