The Bring Back Our Girls campaign, vowing that the Nigerian Citizen will not be silenced, has announced events on July 23 to mark the 100th day of the abduction of 276 girls from their school by Boko Haram.
Of that number, 219 girls remain in captivity, while 57 have escaped, the group said in a statement today, adding that the families and community have suffered deep anguish seeking effective rescue to end the peril that befell their daughters who had gone to school in search of knowledge.
“Citizens who have insisted on standing with our girls and ensuring they are not forgotten are heartbroken that our daughters and sisters are about to spend 100 days with their evil captors,” the statement said, hours after President Goodluck Jonathan finally met with the families at his convenience in Abuja.
“In those 100 days, the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign has focused on creating awareness of the abduction to ensure that it is a priority issue requiring action and compelling the right sets of action for a positive outcome,” the statement added.
It noted that the group has engaged various stakeholders, including the Presidency, the National Assembly, the office of the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defense Staff, the Borno State Government & other State Governments, ECOWAS member countries and UN agencies.
It also stressed that the group’s singular message has been to demand that the Federal Government perform its fundamental duty of ensuring the security and the welfare of its citizens.
“As we denounce the wave of terror and insecurity across the country, we continue to demand that the Federal Government deploy its resources to ensure that the missing girls are brought home, and the errors leading from three-weeks of delayed action are remedied.”
To amplify their voices in demanding that the girls be brought home now and alive, activities around the world on the 100th day will include:
• Ibadan: Press Conference at the BRECAN Centre at 10 am
• Abuja: Special Sit-out Ceremony at the Unity Fountain at 3 pm
• Lagos: Remembrance service at the Wall of Missing Girls at Falomo Roundabout at 4pm
• New York: Candlelight vigil at the Nigerian Consulate at 5.30pm.
The campaign said there will also be events in India, Pakistan, the UK and most world capitals where there are teachers’ organisations, in partnership with the UN Special Envoy’s Office of Gordon Brown. Organisations participating are World at School, Girls not Brides, Global March Against Child Labour, Walk Free, Educational International and ITa.
“The continued pattern of intolerance to the activities of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign is at variance with our effort to promote healthy civic engagement by citizens to strengthen the resolve of government to rescue the girls,” the statement said.
It further noted that as days become weeks and months and the girls are separated from their parents and their community, the campaign’s singular focus remains on their safe return in the shortest possible time.
The statement was signed by Hadiza Bala Usman and Oby Ezekwesili, Abuja; Aisha Oyebode and Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Lagos; Betty Anyanwy-Akeredolu, Ibadan; Amina Hanga, Kano; and Eleanor Ann Nwadinobi, Enugu.