Protesters and activists of the #BringBackOurGirls movement embarked on a silent protest today in Abuja. This is the latest demonstration in a series organized by the group calling on renewed efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari to locate and rescue the 218 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
The protesters from today’s rally marched in silence with tape sealed across their lips. The tape reportedly represents the silencing of the abducted girls’ agony and pain because the Nigerian government has taken too little action.
The procession of demonstrators began at Unity Fountain in Abuja and moved to the Presidential Villa gate. They protesters then sat on the ground in silence for several hours as the police guarded the entrance. It will be recalled that the BBOG protesters have tried, on several occasions, to gain access to the Presidential Villa to give their demands directly to President Buhari but they have been stopped.
One of the leaders of BBOG, Oby Ezekwesili, issued a statement saying that President Buhari’s remarks during his trip to Kenya that his government would negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the Chibok girls was not enough.
Mrs. Ezekwesili emphasized that the Nigerian government should control how the girls are rescued rather than terrorists dictating the terms of their release. Her remarks noted that the Nigerian government has not been proactive or decisive in rescuing the abducted girls.
BBOG reiterated through statements that the President should move beyond rhetorical statements and take action to save the remaining Chibok Girls.