Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Whatever happened to Nigeria's Bring Back Our Girls Protests?

Bring Back Our Girls Protests

It summed up the country's failed campaign. Ebola outbreak has been a welcomed distraction. Some parents have given up and buried empty coffins of the stolen children. Nigeria has moved on. The World has failed to return back the missing 200 schoolgirls. It's one hundred and forty one days and counting and yet protesters are not giving up.

Former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, yesterday, explained why her ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement will not relent in mounting pressure on the Federal Government to rescue the over 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno State. She vowed that there is no going back in the campaign until the girls are rescued.

Ezekwesili, who led some members of the movement on an advocacy visit to the corporate office of The Sun Publishing Limited in Lagos, said there was no correlation between the group and politics or financial support from within and the international scene for its activities. She said the explanation became necessary because there had been insinuations that some sponsors were motivating the movement. She stated that untill the 219 girls abducted on April 15 were returned safely to their families, she would continue to freely express her support for the cause.
Dr. Ezekwesili explained that the movement was made up of only compassionate Nigerians, who, to the detriment of their comfort, pulled resources together to ensure that the kidnapped girls were rescued and re-united with their family members.
According to her, compassion restrained people in other societies from doing unhealthy things that Nigerians did with recklessness, pointing out that most acts being perpetrated in the country were due to a dearth of compassion.
She said it was regrettable that 141 days after the kidnap of the girls, nothing definite could be said about the safety of the girls, pointing out that the movement would not have emerged if government was sincere in rescuing the girls. She stated that the military’s earlier claim that it had freed the victims, but which was later uncovered to be false, led the movement into demanding accountability from the Federal Government, stressing that she and her twitter followers were disappointed over the false claim.
However, she commended Nigerian soldiers, who took the courage to fight the insurgents, tasking government to deploy more resources in making the force perform better. She also commiserated with the relatives of security personnel that had fallen to the insurgency.
On which rescue strategy to employ, she suggested military or strategic negotiation option in order not to paint a picture of rewarding bad behaviour, adding that both options could be jointly adopted with the aim of saving the girls, even as she acknowledged that the government had the prerogative to choose any option suitable for the situation at hand.
Responding, the Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Femi Adesina, assured that the company would reflect on Ezekwesili’s charge but maintained that the company must thread on a neutral part to serve and meet the interests and demands of other Nigerians in fairness.
Adesina said: “We will sit and reflect on what you have raised and also consider what the readers want. We should be neutral but we will not close our eyes. ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ is being seen as an opposition campaign. Media houses are only careful and striving to maintain balance and fairness in their dealings. “For us, this is an advocacy session and we heard the messages you have sent across. We will address the concerns you have raised. You will likely see more action, though it may not be as exactly as you are asking for it. And at the end of it all, by the grace of God, when the girls are back, we will all rejoice. ”

1 comment:

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