Chibok: Women Protest Abduction of Girls

 

Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and Titi Atiku, wife of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, defiled the heavy down pour in Abuja on Wednesday April 30 to join hundreds of mothers who were protesting the failure of the security agencies to rescue 234 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State more than two weeks after they were abducted by terrorists.

The women, whose faces showed strong emotions, chanted slogans asking the government to immediately bring back the abducted children.

A group of terrorists suspected to be Boko Haram members abducted female students of GSS Chibok on April 14. The terrorists were reported to have invaded the school at night and loaded the girls into trucks and disappeared into the forest.

Boko Haram members who attack tertiary and secondary schools in the north east have repeatedly warned female students to abandon school. The abduction of the 234 girls has sparked national and international outrage.

Mothers in the country expressed outrage over the abduction when they trooped out in their hundreds in Kano, Ibadan and Abuja, demanding immediate government action.

Ezekwesili said that the peaceful protest was meant to compel Nigerian leaders to take action and bring back the girls, stressing that the women were angry because it seemed nothing was being done. The protest which started by 3:00pm ended around 8:00pm. The women all wore red clothes and carried placards asking for government action.

Explaining why the protest has become necessary, Ezekwesili said, “It is a shocking development, many of you have followed the way this situation has dragged on. Up till now they have not given us any information about the whereabouts of the girls. It seems like we as Nigerians are totally without empathy, and I know that those of you who had turned out here are the symbol that our country is not the country of people that are careless about their fellow human beings.”

The protest March started from the Unity Fountain, opposite the Transcorp Hilton, Maitama Abuja, where the women assembled and then they headed to the National Assembly. They chanted “All we are saying bring back our girls, alive,” as they marched in the rain. They marched until they got to the gate of National Assembly where David Mark, the senate president led other senators and ministers to address the women.

Mark said, “We have been having meetings to deliberate on the rescue of our abducted Chibok girls, it is a shameful development. We assure you that once we are through here, we would have sittings with the president, as a matter of fact almost immediately and something must be done to bring back these girls. We feel your pains.”

Other prominent women that took part in the protest include Maryam Uwais, Chairperson, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, Kano and Hadiza Usman, Coordinator, Women for Peace and Justice Organization.

Usman who is the organizer of the protest said they wanted the world to know that 234 girls had been abducted and nobody knows their whereabouts for over 16 days now. She said women are concerned about the government’s commitment to rescuing the girls. “The leaders should understand that we can’t sit back and allow 234 girls to just disappear with no traces at all. We are also conscious of the fact that the act took place within the state where they have a state of emergency, we expect the military to be within every location.”

Similar protests by The Women for Peace and Justice Organization has been scheduled for Ibadan, Kaduna, Benin, Kastina and Kano, to speak against insurgency.

Saade Atoyebi, one of the women who protested in Abuja, said it was unfortunate that school children were no longer safe in their schools, stressing that it was a situation that required all hands on deck. “This is not time for prayer alone, it is time for us to make a move. The government should wake up if they have been sleeping,” she added.

Atoyebi further decried a situation where government investigation is done in secret and the ordinary people are left in the dark. She warned that unless something urgent is done to arrest the situation it may extend to Abuja and other parts of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the women who made personal sacrifices to come out for the protest march, Aishat Yakasai, stated; “We have done our bit, we can’t push it, it is left for our leaders to do their best and bring back our girls.”

 

MTN

By Chinenye Eseke

Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and Titi Atiku, wife of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, defiled the heavy down pour in Abuja on Wednesday April 30 to join hundreds of mothers who were protesting the failure of the security agencies to rescue 234 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State more than two weeks after they were abducted by terrorists.

The women, whose faces showed strong emotions, chanted slogans asking the government to immediately bring back the abducted children.

A group of terrorists suspected to be Boko Haram members abducted female students of GSS Chibok on April 14. The terrorists were reported to have invaded the school at night and loaded the girls into trucks and disappeared into the forest.

Boko Haram members who attack tertiary and secondary schools in the north east have repeatedly warned female students to abandon school. The abduction of the 234 girls has sparked national and international outrage.

Mothers in the country expressed outrage over the abduction when they trooped out in their hundreds in Kano, Ibadan and Abuja, demanding immediate government action.

Ezekwesili said that the peaceful protest was meant to compel Nigerian leaders to take action and bring back the girls, stressing that the women were angry because it seemed nothing was being done. The protest which started by 3:00pm ended around 8:00pm. The women all wore red clothes and carried placards asking for government action.

Explaining why the protest has become necessary, Ezekwesili said, “It is a shocking development, many of you have followed the way this situation has dragged on. Up till now they have not given us any information about the whereabouts of the girls. It seems like we as Nigerians are totally without empathy, and I know that those of you who had turned out here are the symbol that our country is not the country of people that are careless about their fellow human beings.”

The protest March started from the Unity Fountain, opposite the Transcorp Hilton, Maitama Abuja, where the women assembled and then they headed to the National Assembly. They chanted “All we are saying bring back our girls, alive,” as they marched in the rain. They marched until they got to the gate of National Assembly where David Mark, the senate president led other senators and ministers to address the women.

Mark said, “We have been having meetings to deliberate on the rescue of our abducted Chibok girls, it is a shameful development. We assure you that once we are through here, we would have sittings with the president, as a matter of fact almost immediately and something must be done to bring back these girls. We feel your pains.”

Other prominent women that took part in the protest include Maryam Uwais, Chairperson, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, Kano and Hadiza Usman, Coordinator, Women for Peace and Justice Organization.

Usman who is the organizer of the protest said they wanted the world to know that 234 girls had been abducted and nobody knows their whereabouts for over 16 days now. She said women are concerned about the government’s commitment to rescuing the girls. “The leaders should understand that we can’t sit back and allow 234 girls to just disappear with no traces at all. We are also conscious of the fact that the act took place within the state where they have a state of emergency, we expect the military to be within every location.”

Similar protests by The Women for Peace and Justice Organization has been scheduled for Ibadan, Kaduna, Benin, Kastina and Kano, to speak against insurgency.

Saade Atoyebi, one of the women who protested in Abuja, said it was unfortunate that school children were no longer safe in their schools, stressing that it was a situation that required all hands on deck. “This is not time for prayer alone, it is time for us to make a move. The government should wake up if they have been sleeping,” she added.

Atoyebi further decried a situation where government investigation is done in secret and the ordinary people are left in the dark. She warned that unless something urgent is done to arrest the situation it may extend to Abuja and other parts of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the women who made personal sacrifices to come out for the protest march, Aishat Yakasai, stated; “We have done our bit, we can’t push it, it is left for our leaders to do their best and bring back our girls.”

 

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