JUST IN: Be Transparent On Kaduna Schoolchildren Rescue Operation, WACOL Director Tells Army

Prof. Joy Ezeilo, SAN

Be Transparent On Schoolchildren Rescue Operation, WACOL Director Tells Army

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The Executive Director of the Aid Collective (WACOL), Prof. Joy Ezeilo, has called on the to shed light on the details surrounding the rescue operation of the abducted schoolchildren in .

Prof. Ezeilo's call for clarity comes after the joyful news of the release of 137 pupils abducted from Kuriga in Kaduna State, who were reported to have regained their freedom on Sunday.

Expressing her gratitude and commendation towards the military's
efforts, Prof. Ezeilo, however, shared her concerns via her X handle (formerly Twitter) on Monday, stating her happiness for the safe return of the and acknowledging the significant relief their rescue brings to their families and the nation.

Despite her commendation, Prof. Ezeilo highlighted discrepancies in the
reported numbers of abducted and rescued children, noting a concerning
difference between the initial reports of 287 abducted pupils and the
137 that were reportedly rescued.

She wrote: “This is a huge relief for their , families, and all well-meaning
, including the international community.

“There remain many unclear details
regarding this rescue operation. For instance, we have learned that only
137 of the rescued individuals were Kaduna pupils, despite earlier
reports indicating that 287 pupils were abducted.”

The Senior Advocate of (SAN) raised questions regarding the
specifics of the rescue operation, including the number of children
kidnapped, the outcome of all abducted children, their movement from
Kaduna State to Zamfara State, and the fate of the kidnappers after the rescue operation.

Prof. Ezeilo's queries pointed to a broader issue of record-keeping, data management, transparency, and information sharing within the Nigerian context.

“There may be more to this than meets the eye. Was this a case of
negotiation and ransom payment? No one knows, as a lot is still shrouded
in secrecy,” Prof. Ezeilo added, underscoring the need for
transparency and accountability in the government's handling of such
sensitive operations. She further emphasised the critical need for
measures to prevent future abductions and ensure the safety of schools
and cities across Nigeria.

Prof. Ezeilo expressed hope that the ordeal of the Kaduna schoolchildren would not mirror past incidents like the
Dapchi and Chibok kidnappings, where some children were left behind. She
stressed the importance of accountability, prosecution of suspects, and the implementation of strategies to secure educational institutions and
urban areas against such threats.

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