By Chioma Umeha
The United Nations (UN) and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) weekend, signed an action plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in the armed conflict in the North-East.
The CJTF is a youth vigilance group established by the government and people of Borno State at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency to tackle the Boko Haram insurgents.
The group, which is made up of volunteers, has been accused alongside the warring Boko Haram sect of recruiting children in the ongoing insurgency in the North-east.
In order to set the record straight, the group signed an action plan with the United Nations supervised by the Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, at the Pinnacle Hotel, Maiduguri.
According to the plan, CJTF will identify and release all children within its ranks and instruct its members not to recruit or use children in the future.
CJTF president Lawan Jaffar and the UNICEF country representative Mohamed Fall co-signed the plan in Borno in the presence of Borno’s deputy solicitor-general Abdullahi Izge.
“We have seen too many childhoods destroyed by the crisis in the northeast,”said Fall.
“Today’s agreement is an important milestone for child protection and paves the way for a brighter future for children caught up in the conflict.”UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, signed the action plan in New York as a witness, insisting it “brings hope for boys and girls deeply affected by the conflict in northeast Nigeria.”