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30 April 2014

Nigerians demand rescue of abducted schoolgirls kidnapped by militants.

Hundreds of  women  defied heavy rain in Abuja on Wednesday  to protest the abduction of schoolgirls from the Government Girls’  Secondary School in  Chibok, Borno State at the National Assembly.

The women, who were led by a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, were  received  by the  Senate President, David Mark;  the  Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; the Deputy Speaker House,   Emeka Ihedioha , and  other  lawmakers .
The obviously traumatised women, including the  parents of the kidnapped pupils,  appealed to the government and the military to ensure  the safe release of the girls.

 They also  urged  the legislators to do something urgently as they could no longer bear  the trauma that the young  girls were  passing through.
Ezekwesili, who reminded the government  at all  levels  that  their primary goals  included the  welfare and security of citizens,  said  the  trauma the girls were passing through  “had become intolerable.”
She added, “Government and security agencies should wake up from their slumber and get back those girls because we are tired of their flimsy excuses.”
But Mark assured the grieving women  that the hearts of all well-meaning Nigerians  were with them .
He said, “The  senators and members of the House of Representatives wept over this abduction when we were discussing it in  our separate chambers on Tuesday.

“ We have reached an unbearable stage . We can no longer tolerate this. We are drenched. Totally soaked in the rain. It is better to be beaten by the rain and get our children freed from their captors.
“If it means standing in the rain until the girls are freed we are prepared to do so. We are lost for  words. We can only apologise that it is taking this long to get these girls released.
“We are not going to rest until the last of the girls  is freed.  All the security apparatus , all of us must get involved in this battle.
“There is no mistaken the fact that we are in a state of war. With God on our side, we shall triumph over evil”.

Also in Ibadan, Oyo State, women groups   held a protest walk in solidarity with the parents of the abducted   girls.
The women, who wore   torn clothes, wept while walking  round the city with placards  with   inscriptions like “Rescue our girls now’, ‘Enough of abduction’, ‘No to Boko Haram’, ‘Federal Government what are you doing.
At the headquarters of the state Police Command in Eleiyele, the  Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabbawa, sympathised with them  and prayed for the safe  release  of the girls.
The President of the National Council for Women  Societies, Oyo State branch, Princess Adetona, urged the  Federal Government to  hasten its effort at finding the girls.

She said, “We call for the urgent and complete end to the politisation of the nation’s security and for the security agencies to secure the lives of the most vulnerable and most precious resources.
“These young girls are  our daughters, sisters, nieces and as Nigerians we join them in their anguish and distress. We want them back, safe in their homes where they belong. The longer it takes to find them, the slimmer the chances of finding them.”
Meanwhile,  Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State  has denounced    the claim by   Boko Haram that it was  fighting a holy war.
Shettima said   that during a holy war,  women  were   usually  protected.
The governor said this at the swearing-in of a new Grand Khadi and two permanent secretaries in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

He said,  “In Islam, a woman is supposed to be treated as gold. Islam requires that a man should be the one to prepare meals and serve a woman. When a woman chooses to cook, she should be paid for cooking that meal unless she   doesn’t want to be paid.
“We are all heartbroken   at this time in our dear state because as we speak, over 200 daughters of Borno   are being detained somewhere by our fellow men who claim to be devoted Muslims , whereas Allah who created all of us has mandated us to protect women, to support them, to serve them with special attention and to even spare them during Islamic holy wars that the Boko Haram claims to be fighting.”


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