The #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement today in Abuja undertook a peaceful protest to demand the release of the remaining 113 Chibok school girls, and to condemn last week’s gruesome killings and abduction by Boko Haram terrorists of oil exploration workers and lecturers of the University of Maiduguri.
The demonstration began at the Unity Fountain in the city center and terminated at the gates of the presidential villa, which was barricaded by the anti-riot police to deny the protesters entry.
Addressing journalists at the gate, Oby Ezekwesili, the Co-Coordinator of BBOG, took a swipe at the government for its silence on the militants’ killing and abduction of the oil workers and policemen.
She pointed out that it was the same way the abduction of the Chibok girls was treated with levity until her group came out to mount pressure on the government before any action was taken. She said for the government not to acknowledge their killing and abduction made the situation appear as if the oil workers had been sent on a suicide mission.
“Government have not been able to acknowledge the abduction of police women who [were] on their way to bury one of their colleagues,” she said. “How can the government deny the existence of officers who have served the country in this manner?”
The group also urged the government not to spare any effort in securing the release of the remaining 113 Chibok girls and demanded an accurate account of the number of police women and oil workers killed in the Boko Haram ambush.
“We want the government to invite the parents of the abducted officers and oil workers and give them detailed information on the rescue effort which may not be for the public consumption,” he said.
BBOG also demanded a structured system of reporting on the abduction in the northeast to avoid falsification of the figures of the victims, vowing not to stop its advocacy until the government fulfills its responsibility to protect the lives and property of the citizens.
Senator Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters who addressed the protesters on behalf of the Acting President, told them that negotiations are continuing with those who facilitated the release of the 82 Chibok girls, stressing that the government will ensure that the remaining ones, as well others in the capture of the terrorists, are released. He commended the effort of #BBOG for sustaining the campaign.