Pressure mounts on Nigeria’s President over schoolgirls’ abduction – SABC

May 7, 2014


The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed outrage at claims that Nigeria’s abducted schoolgirls would be sold as slaves.

The leader of the Boko Haram militant group Abubakar Shekau released a video claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of the more than 250 girls in Chibok, Northern Nigeria three weeks ago, threatening to sell them into marriages.

This as a vocal group of protesters outside the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations in New York, accused the government of gross incompetence while appealing to the international community for help.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah who is a co-founder of the group Every Nigerian Do Something (ENDS) says: “It is three weeks, our military has refused to act, they’ve refused to cordon the area, they’ve refused to restrict the movements of the terrorists, they still come in and out freely, so I will not say our government is not acting, I will say right now Nigeria is under siege of terrorism from government’s ineptness,” adds Brimah.

Calling for President Goodluck Jonathan to step down. Executive Director of the Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum Bulola Oreofe says it’s unconscionable that the government has no clear indication as to the whereabouts of the girls.

“The sacred and sacrosanct function of government is to protect the lives and property of the citizens, if you cannot do that then you have no business to being in government, we are demanding the President Jonathan should go after Boko Haram and bring back our girls,” adds Oreofe.

He called for the international community to step in.

“We are telling the international community that what happens to one happens to all and when it comes to terrorism, when on
September 11th WTC was attacked, we all rose up to say it’s unacceptable, our humanity is being questioned, Boko Haram is able to carry on doing this then it’s a shame on everybody of good conscience,” adds Oreofe.

Earlier, further condemnation from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville says:

“Boko Haram is sinking to new depths. It is hard to see how they could sink further, but this is quite appalling. Slavery and sexual slavery are absolutely prohibited under international law and in certain circumstances, and this could well be one of them, they could be considered crimes against humanity, which is one of the most serious crimes that does exist,”

The United States has also offered greater assistance.

Reports have emerged that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents will join a team of US investigators en route to Nigeria to assist in the hunt for the girls.

The Justice Department earlier announced that law enforcement personnel with expertise in hostage negotiations would assist the Nigerian government in the search.