The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), has commended the Nigerian government over the release of over 50 children abducted against their will in Ondo State.
UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkinss, made the commendation in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday.
Hawkins cautioned that violence against children under any guise is an evil that should not be tolerated.
He said, “Children should not be targets of violence in whatever guise. Violence against children is condemnable and we call on governments to redouble efforts to protect children against all forms of violence. A society’s health is measured by how it treats its children.”
It could be recalled that some unidentified children who were reportedly kidnapped few months ago were on Saturday discovered inside a church in Ondo, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The children were allegedly found in an underground apartment of a church located at Valentino Area of the town.
It was gathered that the children were kidnapped and kept in the underground apartment of the church.
A source said that the victims were over 50 while the police had rescued them and arrested the pastor and some members of the church.
In a video which has gone viral on the social media, the children were seen in a patrol vehicle of the police who took them to the police station.
In the one minute 40 seconds video, a voice was heard saying, “they are kidnapped children found in the underground cell of a church in the Valentino Area of Ondo. The pastor and some members of the church have been arrested and were also in the patrol van of the police.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), for the state Police Command, Funmilayo Odunlami, while confirming the development, said that the victims had been taken to the Command headquarters in Akure, adding that investigations have commenced on the matter.