NIGERIA: Coalition Calls for Release of Abducted Schoolgirls

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

A coalition of civil society groups, human rights activists and other good spirited Nigerians led by Women for Peace and Justice, yesterday held a one million-man march in Lagos to call for the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls. In the march, the group called on President Jonathan, members of the National Assembly and the security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, rescue the abducted 234 girls and step up the security machinery in the country to forestall further breaches in order to save Nigerians from danger.

"We are making it a little uncomfortable for people trying to get to work, but it is important for all of us to stop, pause and think about the pain and suffering of the girls and the anguish of their families who have suffered untold emotional trauma since the incident occurred," said the coordinator of the Lagos rally, Mrs. Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Executive Director of Murtala Muhammed Foundation.

She continued: "The longer it takes to rescue our girls, the greater the dangers they are exposed to. The lack of action is unacceptable, the growing insecurity worrisome and we as Nigerians demand an immediate and complete end to the politicisation of insecurity in this country ".

Another member of the rally, Ms. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti of the Cosmopolitan Women's club, noted that "everyone here is a concerned citizen that does not believe those concerned have put in adequate effort towards rescuing these children. Today, we and millions of Nigerian women, men and children call on the Federal Government, members of the National Assembly and the security agencies to bring back our girls and all the women living in captivity alive".

The group questioned why security had not increased around vulnerable targets even after threats by the militant group.

It wondered how terrorists in many trucks could pass freely in an area that is under emergency rule. It also queried why insecurity was on the increase despite massive increase in military spending by the government in the country.