2. Girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northwest Nigerian state of Zamfara, are seen after their release in Zamfara , Nigeria March 2, 2021. REUTERS-Afolabi Sotunde

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it will provide psychosocial support to the released Jangebe schoolgirls and their families.

UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday.

Hawkins added that UNICEF would also work with the Zamfara State Ministry of Education on how to ensure the safe return of all children to school in the state.

“We are relieved with the news of the reported release of the over 200 students of Government Girls’ Secondary School Jangebe in Zamfara, North-west Nigeria.

“While we rejoice at the release of the school girls and look forward to their safe return to their families.

“We reiterate that attacks on students and schools are not only reprehensible but a violation of the right of children to an education.

“It is a right that any society can ill-afford to violate.”

He called on the Federal Government to take measures to protect schools in the country so that children would not be scared

of going to school, and parents not afraid of sending their children to school.

According to him, schools must be safe places to study and develop, and learning should not become a risky endeavour.

Newsmen report that the girls were kidnapped at their school in the early hours of Feb. 26.

Announcing the release of the girls on Tuesday, Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara said “repentant bandits in the state assisted security agencies

in the operation that led to the rescue of the school girls.”

The governor, who received the girls at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday in Gusau, said that the 279 girls were returned safely without paying any ransom.

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