The advocacy group, the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, #BringBackOurGirls has announced activities lined up to mark the four years anniversary of the abduction of 276 girls from their school in Chibok, Borno State by the insurgent group, Boko Haram.
In a statement on Thursday, the group which has been at the vanguard of the demand for the release of the Chibok girls from captivity said the Year Four Global Week of Action will be marked in Abuja, Lagos, and New York with different activities.
In Abuja, one of the major events to mark the global week of action is a lecture to be delivered by Lagos based cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare, with the theme, "TOWARDS A JUST AND GOOD SOCIETY: RENEWING OUR COMMITMENT TO THE GIRL CHILD IN NIGERIA".
The organizers said the theme was chosen to ensure that Chibok Girls, and now, Dapchi Girls and other abductees, and all out-of-school girls in Nigeria are the focus the annual Chibok Girls Lecture.
The lecture, scheduled to hold on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, by 11 am will be chaired by Hajiya Naja'atu Bala Muhammad.
“We believe that it is now more critical than ever to assure the Girl-Child, Parents, and Communities across Nigeria that we are with them on their legitimate desire to educate their children and aspire for a brighter future,” BBOG said.
In Lagos, there will be a march from Falomo Roundabout to UN office, Ikoyi to commemorate the fourth year since the abduction of ChibokGirls at 4 pm on Friday April, 13, followed by interfaith vigil with Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Imam Nojeem Jimoh, and Professor Maurice Magnor at 5 pm on the same day. Participants in Lagos will also hook up with Abuja live for 2nd #ChibokGirls Lecture at Falomo Roundabout by 11 am. The event in Lagos will be rounded off with town hall meeting with questions and answers immediately after the lecture.
In New York, United States, there will be Ju’mah gathering/prayers for the abducted girls on Friday April 13th at the Islamic Centre, Grand Hall, 238 Thompson Street, 5th Floor of GCASL, New York, New York 10012 by 1:15pm and Shabbat Gathering/Prayers on Saturday, April 14th to be held at the society for Advancement of Judaism, 15 W 86th Street (near corner of Central Park West), New York, New York at 10:00 am.
There will also be Christian Gathering/Prayers on Sunday, April 15th at West End Collegiate Church, 245 W 77th Street, New York, New York at 2:30 pm.
Saturday 14 April 2018 will be 4 years since the abduction of our Chibok Girls from their school, Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014.
Out of the 276 school girls that were verified by the Presidential Task Force to have been taken hostage by Boko Haram terrorists, 57 escaped on their own leaving 219 captive.
In October 2016, 24 of them were recovered largely through negotiation by the Federal Government (21), and indirectly from various military operations mounted by the Nigerian Army (3).
On May 2017, 84 more were also recovered through negotiation by the Federal Government, and in December, one of the #Chibokgirls was found along with another abducted young woman, thus bringing the total number of recovered girls to 107, and 112 of the girls yet to be accounted for. Also, in Boko Haram captivity is Liya Sharibu, one of the 110 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Dapchi, Borno State, on 19 February.
The BringBackOurGirls Movement lamented that while over 100 girls kidnapped from Chibok remain in Boko Haram captivity, the insurgent group was able to carry out another mass abduction in Dapchi.
“Our Movement which has advocated for the rescue of our #ChibokGirls by the Federal Government for 1443 days was counting the days until all the girls are back unfortunately, we have been thrown into an agonising grief when we learnt as with the world of a shameful repeat of history with the disgraceful and unavoidable abduction of 110 girls from a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State, nearly four years later.
“Over the 1443 days of our advocacy, we have constantly declared that our Chibok Girls are a symbol of the Girl Child in Nigeria, the abduction and the prolonged captivity of the remaining 112 girls has become an assault on girl child education especially in the North East.
“It is a known fact that a nation that leaves behind its female population is an underdeveloped society. The unresolved plight of the abductions is regarded as a de-motivator for poor parents who should be convinced that educating their daughters is the best decision they can make for themselves and society at large. The growth of our nation is under threat.
“Despite all, we have remained relentless until all our girls are rescued and given another fair chance to acquire the formal education they were seeking before their abduction. Our movement posits that there must be no barrier stopping the education of every girl child in the North, East, West and South, of Nigeria.
“We believe that it is now more critical than ever to assure the Girl-Child, Parents, and Communities across Nigeria that we are with them on their legitimate desire to educate their children and aspire for a brighter future,” the group said.