Apr. 23, 2014
Ola Audu, PremiumTimes
“The abduction of innocent young girls violates their human rights, is a crime against humanity and is prohibited under international humanitarian law”.
Women in the volatile North-East Nigerian state of Borno on Tuesday said the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government would be tagged an accomplice in the abduction of the secondary school girls in Chibok town last week if it fails to rescue the 230 missing girls.
Parents of the abducted girls had on Monday cried out about their missing daughters saying 230 girls as against the earlier announced 129, were still missing. The girls have now spent ten days in the jungle enclaves of the insurgents.
Speaking at a press briefing organised by the Baobab for Women’s Human Rights in Maiduguri, one of the leaders of the women, Aishatu Ngulde, said they were not impressed by the silent attitude being put up by leaders in Abuja since the abduction of the final year secondary school girls.
The spokesperson of the women’s group, Hauwa Biu, described the abduction of the girls in Chibok as “acts considered inhuman and affects efforts to enhance girl child education and development in the state and country at large”.
Ms. Biu added that “the abduction of innocent young girls violates their human rights, is a crime against humanity and is prohibited under international humanitarian law.
“We women in Borno state condemn it in totality, as such acts of violence, attacks on schools deny children their rights to learn in a safe environment, thereby jeopardising their future.
Speaking during a question and answer session of the press conference, Ms Ngulde, who doubles as the Northeast Coordinator of WOTCLEF, said “It is very disheartening that despite what is going here in Borno state concerning our abducted girls, our national leader (President Jonathan) who is supposed to champion the protection of the entire country, didn’t see it as an a duty to do so”.
“Since this incident happened, we have not heard our President telling the entire nation that he is deploying our Air Force with their jets, to come and hover over our terrain in Borno state and find out which bush these girls are being kept.
“Is anybody telling me that the bushes in Borno state are so thick that even the military planes cannot see through? Our soldiers have been going to other countries and we see and hear how troops are being dropped from the sky into thick forests and attack enemies in the bushes. Why is that not being done in Borno State concerning our children that have been taken; we are grieved because we are all mothers.
“If it were Jonathan’s daughters that have been stolen today, would the country go to sleep?”
She said instead of the president showing empathy as other leaders of the world would do during incidences like this, the president left the matter to the state governors.
“Why should it be all about the governor, he is just an entity, he has no such powers over the military or any security men. We are in a country where everything has to come from the federal government. Let us call a spade, a spade. The federal government should do something now or we accuse them as accomplices and part of this crime”.
The women expressed their sympathy to all families affected by the insurgency. They also implored on members of the Boko Haram to go to the dialogue table and sought out their differences with government rather than hiding in the bushes and perpetrating violent crimes.
They pleaded for “adequate security around all schools so as to have safe learning environment for our children”.