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Chibok Girls: Schools Shut Nationwide, Teachers, Students Protest

Public schools in the 36 States of Nigeria were shut on Thursday as teachers and students protest the abduction of 234 secondary school girls at Chibok in Bornu State, Northeastern Nigeria.

Teacher 1Thousands of teachers and students with placards protested vehemently in their various states, calling for the release of the kidnapped school girls by Boko Haram a month ago.

The Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT) instructed the teachers to embark on protests on Thursday in solidarity with the Chibok girls.

In Lagos State, all public schools were shutdown as hundreds of teachers, students and civil society group marched to Governor Babatunde Fashola’s office with placards demanding the release of the girls.

Public school teachers staged a peaceful protest from Ojota to Alausa chanting solidarity songs and joined up with students of Government Secondary School, Agege, who marched from Iyana Ipaja to Governor’s office to protest the abduction.

The students and teachers carried placards, some of which read: “Girl child slavery is Haram, bring back our girls,” “All of the girls must be released now,” “We want our girls back,” “Pray for our girls to return home,” among others.

The teachers carried a big banner with the caption: “Nigeria Union of Teacher Protests against the abduction of over 200 of our students of GGSS in Chibok and the killing of over 171 teachers by Boko Haram insurgence, set out students free now.”

In a letter addressed to Fashola, the teachers demanded for the release of the girls, saying they had been depressed ever since the students were kidnapped over a month ago.

“It is pertinent at this time to call on Nigerian government to bring back our girls safe and alive by demonstrating enough social responsibility and concern to guarantee security of lives and propeeties in the land which is the primary responsibility of any government,” says Comrade Adesegun Raheem, State Chairman, NUT, Lagos State in the letter to Fashola.

“We demand that both the Federal and the respective State Governments should exhibit true concern to the families of the 171 teachers who lost their lives in Bornu and Yobe State to the baabaric, uncivilised and wicked acts of terror by paying them adequate compensation to assist in soothing their misery,” he said.

Adesegun said “We cannot sleep anymore because no person knows where and when bomb could explode next. The current attack on education facilities in the North especially showed that the entire system in the country is faulty. They should stop playing pranks with the life of the pupils and their teachers.

“Over 47, 000 teachers in Lagos Public schools are in support of the strike. The communiqué issued at the end of the national economic forum held recently in the country said that for the country to attain certain development, the three tiers of government must invest in education.”

Coordinator of the coalition of the civil society groups, Mrs. Aisha Oyebode said incessant bombing would not stop them from protesting and demanding the unconditional release of the girls.

According to her, “the girls are not yet back as we all know. As long as they are not released, we continue to protest. The protest will only stop the moment the federal government has been able to rescue.”

A student of Government College, Agege, Miss. Adedoyin Adenuga lamented the abduction of her colleagues, who were writing their senior Secondary Examination on April 14,ge in Agege, expressing disappointment in a statement credited to the federal government that it “has not been to find out the location to which the Boko Haram insurgents took the girls. How are we sure that we are even secure in Lagos State.

“The number of deaths in the country is very high. There is need for the three tiers of government to act, for the sake of the country. If the government can help us bring our friends we will be happy.”

Another protesting student, Miss. Taiwo Oladimeji said the protest was organised to demand unconditional release of the girls, saying that the students did not know “if they have been raped. We want the Federal Government to bring back the girls now. We will not celebrate the Children Day next week as usual because we are all girls and we feel their pains.”

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