“Bring Back Our Girls” Protests Rock Lagos On Children’s DayAyo Balogun, Featured, Latest News, News From The State Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Ayo Balogun, Lagos
Series of protests shook Lagos, Nigeria on Tuesday as several groups used the Children’s Day celebration to protest the abduction of 234 secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
The groups, which took part in the protests included the Nigerians United Against Terrorism, (NUAT) led by Mrs. Lailai Daniels; Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), led by Mrs. Ifedola Dada; Al-Mu’minaat Social Advocacy Project (SAP) led by Mrs. Sherifah Yususf-Ajibade, The Young Muslims Association (TYMA), led by Abdulazeez Ajala, Pure Heart Foundation (PHF) led by Mr. Abdulraheem Lukman; the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) and the Lagos State Area and the League of Muslim Schools Proprietors (LEAMSP).
The protesters marched to the State House with placards, some of which read: “Nigeria Belongs to all of us, let us Unit Against Terrorism,” “Bring back our girls alive,” “AFED says Bring back our girls,” “Schooling is not a Crime, bring back our girls,” “Watch and pray, bring back our girls,” “Read: Islam supports education,” “Muslims are not terrorists,” “GEJ: bring back our girls,” “Stop the killing,” “Stop Terrorism,” among others.
Spokesperson of PHF, Abdulraheem Lukman said: “we condemn the kidnapping of our innocent girls by this diabolical group. This is a solidarity walk and also to make some recommendations for our government to equip our police force to meet modern challenges.
“The kind of police we have in Nigeria are police who use archaic methods, the world today is using preventive policing but in our own case its curative, we are also telling the federal government to ensure that monies meant for Defence, they shouldn’t just vote, but ensure the money is used for the purpose meant.”
According to the leader of SAP, Sherifah Yususf-Ajibade, the “abduction of girls seeking to be educated and the inability of our government to secure their release send shivering fear down the spine of both mothers and girl-children, particularly in Northern Nigeria where education has not been given the necessary attention. Thus, the sustenance of whatever success in girl-child education we may have been building over the years is hinged on the rescue of the Chibok girls. Mr. President and his team should act urgently.”
AFED’s spokesperson, Mrs Ifedola Dada said the group decided to embark on the protest to demand for the immediate release of the abducted school girls, lamenting that children were now afraid of going to schools for fears of being abducted.
“What is happening in Nigeria is heart breaking. We are tired of empty promises. We are here to ask Governor Babatunde Fashola to tell our President, Goodluck Jonathan to ensure the immediate release of the abducted girls.
“They are our children and each day they spend with the terrorists brings us agony. We don’t want them to be exchanged for anyone or other terrorists and we want them to be brought back hale and hearty. As school owners, we are disturbed because our children are now afraid of coming to school. When they are in school, they are afraid and they are learning in fear. The president must act now,” she said.
Speaking, 15-year-old Shukrah Yusuf, a Senior Secondary School I student of Al-Siddiq College, said: “When I heard it, I felt very sad that school girls were abducted and I learnt that some were converted from Christianity to Islam that is not what Allah said we should do, it’s not by force, you can only encourage them not the way the terrorists are doing it.”
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