United Nations special envoy for global education, Gordon Brown, on Thursday held talks with Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on the raging insurgency in Northern Nigeria.
Brown, Britain’s former Prime Minister, who expressed gladness in the rescue of hundreds of girls by the Nigerian troops within the last two days from Boko Haram captivity, said it was “time to end the nightmare” of kidnappings, which, with forced conscription have been a regular feature of the bloody six-year insurgency.
In a statement on Thursday, Brown said, “Now that some girls have been released we want all girls released, and we want them home with their families in days; not months or years.”
Brown has spearheaded an initiative to improve security at schools in Nigeria, which have been a target for the militants, who are opposed to Western-style, secular education.
Talks with Buhari, who won last month’s elections, would focus on international military support to free the Chibok girls as well as improving access to secure schools for girls, he added.
On safety of schools, Brown had said before the meeting with Buhari: “I will also offer help for safe schools which allow girls to participate in education, free of fear.?? We need more secure, better-prepared safe schools to make girls and parents know everything is being done to protect them.? Today, 10 million children don’t go to school in Nigeria.? By creating safe schools and communities where girls are free of fear we can get every child into school and learning.”
Buhari had vowed to crush Boko Haram, whose quest for a hardline Islamic state in North East Nigeria has left at least 15,000 dead and more than 1.5 million homeless since 2009.
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