Malala meets Chibok ‘heroes’ in Nigeria
Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai late on Monday called for a ‘ state of emergency for education’ in Nigeria, as she visited the country and met some of the Chibok schoolgirls whose cause she championed.
The 20 year old global education campaigner made the suggestion at a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Nigeria has some 10.5mn children out of school - the most in the world - and 60 per cent of them are girls, according to the UN children’s fund, Unicef.
Many of them are in the country’s northeast, where the Boko Haram insurgency has devastated education in the last nine years, damaging or destroying classrooms and schools.
Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban in her native Pakistan in 2012 for insisting girls should go to school, told reporters: “I highlighted a few issues.“
“The first was to ask the government to declare a state of emergency for education because the education of the Nigerian girls and boys is really important.
“The federal government, state government and local government should all be united for this. Secondly, the spending should be made public and thirdly, the Child Rights Act should be implemented in all states.”
Yousafzai said there was a ‘positive response’ to the suggestion from Osinbajo, who has been standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari since he left on open-ended medical leave in early May.
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai (left) with Nigeria’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja on Monday