President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria remains committed to securing the freedom of children and other victims abducted by terrorists in the country.
The President said this in Addis Ababa at a side event during the 33rd AU Summit, under the theme, Stop the War on Children Affected by Armed Conflicts, Dividend of Silencing the Guns.
A State House statement says the programme, a high-level breakfast dialogue, was co-sponsored by Nigeria, Uganda, Norway, and the AU Commission, as well as Save the Children.
The President urged African countries and stakeholders on the continent to work fervently towards strengthening the protection of children from the six grave violations during armed conflict; Killing and maiming, recruitment or use of children as soldiers, sexual violence, attacks on schools or hospitals and denial of humanitarian access for children.
President Buhari expressed concern that these grave violations against children had continued unabated.
He said the incidence of a single violation of children’s rights in any country would be an indelible dent on the African consciousness and had to be deplored and condemned.
The President said to stem the tide of out-of-school children, Nigeria had embarked on an all-inclusive reconstruction of schools vandalised by the ravaging terrorist activities of Boko Haram while returning children had been rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.
President Buhari said Nigeria’s Nomadic Education policy was also being implemented to reduce the number of out-of-school children.
He said the government had prioritised de-radicalisation and demobilisation of ex-combatant children of Boko Haram insurgents.
The Nigerian leader called on the AU Peace and Security Council to energetically champion the strategy to stop the war on children and adopt the Child Protection Architecture within the African Peace and Security Architecture and the Roadmap on Silencing the Guns.