President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia said his administration is committed to securing the freedom of all children and other victims of abduction by terrorists in the country.
The programme was co-sponsored by the Governments of Nigeria, Uganda, and Norway, the Africa Union Commission and Save the Children.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
President Buhari at the event said: ”A number of schoolgirls from Chibok and Dapchi earlier abducted by Boko Haram have regained their freedom.
”We commend the gallant efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force and the partners in supporting the reintegration of the girls.
”Let me categorically reassure you of the steadfast commitment of the Government of Nigeria to ensure the freedom of all kidnapped children from the shackles of Boko Haram.
”We will not relent until every child, boy, or girl, every Nigerian adult in custody of Boko Haram, is freed!.”
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.
He also expressed concern that these grave violations against children have continued unabated.
The six grave violations are killing and maiming of children, recruitment or use of children as soldiers, sexual violence against children, abduction of children, attacks against schools or hospitals and denial of humanitarian access for children.
”It is for this reason that the Nigerian government has severally condemned, and is combating frontally the dreadful activities of terrorist groups like Boko Haram and the so-called Islamic State.
”Of course, the severity of these grave violations varies from country to country.
”The incidence of a single violation of children rights in any country is an indelible dent on the African consciousness and is to be deplored and condemned,” he said.
Reminding AU member states of their commitments to protecting children affected by armed conflicts in Africa, President Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the protection of children in armed conflict zones.
He also used the occasion to outline some concrete measures taken by Nigeria towards tackling the root causes of child soldiers and the misfortune of out-of-school children.