AN Ambassador of Save the Children in Nigeria, Florence ‘Cuppy’ Otedola has cried out that children education in the country is under serious attack as conflicts continue to ravage communities across the North East.
“The humanitarian needs overview estimates that there are 2.2million school-aged children and teachers in North Eastern Nigeria who need immediate education in emergency support,” said the Save the Children Ambassador, popularly known as DJ Cuppy, who is also the daughter of business magnate, Femi Otedola.
She stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at a press conference after her tour of a Stabilisation Centre operated in Maiduguri, Borno State by the Save the Children.
According to her, the stabilisation center is currently overstretched due to continued influx of children, noting that children are the biggest victims of conflicts.
“Over 800 schools, primarily in Borno State are still non-functional mainly due to inaccessibility as a result of insecurity. These children’s education,” DJ Cuppy said.
“If I had been born to a different family, my life could have been completely different, and I wouldn’t be with you today. I would be at home caring for my siblings or my own children or working to earn less than N700 a day. Children’s education is under attack and the time is now to change that.”
She said government and other actors have to prioritise protection of children against conflicts.
“The most important is to realise how many children are the victims of conflicts. I met a child today who is scared of going to school,” she said.
“If we do not protect the children it will be a great problem, and I believe we should focus on protection. If a child does not feel scared to go to school, we will have more children in school and that environment will flourish.”
Speaking further on the impacts of conflicts on children, DJ Cuppy said available statistics showed that at least 550,000 babies were thought to have died as a result of armed conflict between 2013 and 2017 in the 10 worst-affected countries, including Nigeria.
She added that another Save the Children report revealed that one in five children are living in areas affected by armed conflict and war than at any time in more than 20 years.
“Every day, children face the threat of being killed, recruited by armed groups, abducted, falling victim to sexual violence or humanitarian aid denied,” she said.