In a compelling plea, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called upon the Federal Government of Nigeria to take immediate legal action against bandits responsible for heinous acts of murder and rape targeting women and children. Cristian Munduate Cristian, the Country Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, emphasized this crucial step during a press briefing held in Maiduguri on Friday, in anticipation of the World Humanitarian Day.
Cristian expressed deep concern over the lack of decisive action taken by governments in response to the escalating atrocities committed by these criminals. The abduction of school children, the killing of women and teachers, and the disturbing trend of raping young schoolgirls have reached an intolerable point, according to Cristian.
One of the key aspects highlighted by Cristian was the urgent need to fortify the judiciary systems to ensure that these criminals face the full weight of the law. She asserted that the ongoing barbaric acts must cease to allow children to attend schools without the constant fear of abduction or assault.
Cristian stated, “The frequency of attacks on communities and schools is deeply unsettling. Just days ago, teachers fell victim to a brutal attack resulting in tragic loss of life. Immediate action is imperative in this regard.”
Expressing her dismay, Cristian stressed that it is unacceptable that bandits are not brought before the courts to answer for their reprehensible actions. She raised concerns about the absence of proper legal consequences for those responsible for assaulting, killing, abducting, and raping innocent children and women. Cristian underscored the importance of applying existing international laws and the national legal system to address these grave crimes.
“We possess a framework of international laws and national legal systems that should be actively enforced. It is essential that proper punishment is meted out to these perpetrators within the bounds of the law,” she affirmed.
As Nigeria grapples with the growing challenge of banditry and its dire impact on vulnerable populations, UNICEF’s call for prompt and decisive legal actions underscores the urgent need for effective measures to protect women and children, and ensure their access to education and safety. The appeal resounds with the hope of halting these horrific acts and restoring a sense of security within communities across the nation.