As the over 200 female students kidnapped in the Chibok community of Borno State, in the North East of Nigeria still remain missing, the social media campaign to draw attention to the plight of the girls in light of the Federal Government’s seeming inaction, is bearing fruit.
With the slogan – #BringOurGirlsBack, Nigerian empathizers have finally succeeded in drawing the attention of the world to the ugly incident. International celebrities, Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Angelique Kidjo and Mary J. Blige have joined their Nigerian counterparts, Banky W, Waje, Sasha and Lami Phillips amongst, others and together alongside others, they have finally succeeded in drawing the attention of western governments.
After protests in Lagos on May Day, yesterday, Monday 5th May 2014, another rally in Lagos kicked off from the Allen Roundabout and ended at the Lagos State House.
Rights activists, religious leaders, celebrities and community organizers including Lagos civil rights lawyer, Femi Falana and his wife, Funmi, Waje, Omoni Oboli, Banky W, Tiwa Savage, Sasha P, Lami Phillips Yemi Alade and Ms. Yemisi Ransome Kuti joined other well meaning Nigerians in the march.
A delegate from the Ikoyi-Obalende Local Council Development Area, Hajia Moji Dange, said the group was giving the authorities a 14-day ultimatum to secure the release of the girls.
Dange, who spoke in an emotion laden voice, said if nothing was done, the group would march on Aso Rock and “all hell will be let loose.”
The market leader of the Abibatu Mogaji Model Market, Iponri, Alhaja Mulikat Ajaga-Salako, said, “We are ready to go all length to get the girls. We are ready to protest naked if nothing is done to show our seriousness as Nigerian women.”
The same day, Women in Ondo State took to the streets of Akure, the state capital, to protest the delay in rescuing the girls. As they matched on the streets with tears and songs, the women wondered why it would take so long to rescue the girls whose future was being threatened by the insurgents.
Ondo State Women
Also on Monday, youths and students from Borno State called on counterparts all over the world to stay away from classes in protest. The students were led to the press conference by Fatima Zanna Maliki.
Maliki said it was pertinent that students all over the world joined them in the protest in order to force world leaders to pressurise the Nigerian government to take necessary action that would lead to the release of the girls.
While declaring Wednesday May 7, 2014 as a lecture free and sympathy day worldwide to commiserate with the families of the abducted schoolgirls, Maliki asked President Goodluck Jonathan to stop buck-passing and go about the task of looking for the abducted girls with more fervour. “The abducted students of GSS, Chibok are our sisters and colleagues, after 21 days of their abduction, we don’t know their condition, we don’t know how they are faring, we don’t know if they have eaten this morning, we don’t know their health condition, we don’t know there whereabouts, we don’t know! We don’t know!! We don’t know!!!
“But Almighty God knows where they are, and He has given someone the privilege, the ability, the will, the force and the wherewithal to determine where they are and bring them back safely. That person is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”
Students in Calabar
The protest has also moved international, with support rallies being held in the United States, The United Kingdom and various other European countries, leading the American government to issue a statement offering it’s help to the Nigerian government.
In continuance of the international rallies, the Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum, based in New York, will hold a “Bring Chibok Girls Home Rally” today, Tuesday, May 6, in front of Nigeria House.
In a statement, the group’s Executive Director, Bukola Oreofe, said it was unfortunate that thousands of Nigerians have been murdered by the Boko Haram terrorist group while the Nigerian government has shown a lack of capacity and scandalous incompetence.
He stressed that everyone owes the innocent girls the duty to speak up on their behalf and demand that the Nigerian government bring them home immediately.
The International Community Joins The Campaign
Isha Sesay & Vladimir Duthiers of CNN
Malala has joined the campaign
The European student's union
Also on Monday, barely 24hours after President Goodluck Jonathan told the nation that no group had claimed responsibility for the abduction, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the seizure of the girls.
In a video release, the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, threatened to sell off the abducted girls in defiance of international outrage that greeted the kidnapping of the girls from their hostel. (Watch video here)
In the midst of all these however, the President’s wife, Patience, has expressed doubt about the authenticity of the kidnapping.
“We the Nigerian women are saying that no child is missing in Borno State. If any child is missing, let the governor go and look for them. There is nothing we can do again,” Mrs Jonathan told the women who met with her in the Presidential Villa on Monday.
And finally, the northern chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has released a list of 180 names, claiming that they are some of the abducted girls.
See the list below.
1 Deborah Abge
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