Outrage intensify over schoolgirls abduction in Nigeria

9 May
Boko Haram

Image depicts Boko Haram (Photo credit: AK Rockefeller)

By Modou S. Joof

There has been global outrage over the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the militant group Boko Haram on April 14.

Public protests are holding in Nigeria and across the world while the hashtag (#BringBackOurGirls) gains widespread notice on social media. The girls were taken from a school in the northern state of Borno and there whereabouts remains unknown amid growing anger in Nigeria.

In The Gambia, the Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices, Gamcotrap, and the Child Protection Alliance, CPA, has expressed a message of solidarity to Nigerian government and families of the girls.

At the Nigerian High Commission in Kanifing, Gamcotrap and the CPA jointly condemned Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the school girls.

“We have observed the escalation of this phenomenon, which started from 11 girls progressing to over 200,” Gamcotrap’s executive director Dr Isatou Touray said on Thursday May 8.

“… and the impunity of the Boko Haram militants in further capturing another eight girls and also 300 more without paying heed to the public outcry and condemnation coming from all corners of the world,” she said.

Dr. Touray said their action transcends the borders of Nigeria to other neighboring countries and gives it a transnational dimension. This should be a cause of concern for all of our countries.

Gamcotrap, which advocates for the protection of women and the girl child, stated it is calling on the Nigerian government and the world to respond actively without any reservations to deal with “these criminals” who profess to be Muslim while defiling its basic principles.

Nigerian Ambassador to The Gambia, Ester John Audu, also condemns Boko Haram, saying there is no religion that preaches the harassment of women and girls.

“I want to remind those who are carrying out these acts that they were born by women. Women conceived them, women carried them,” she said. “So whatever they are doing today to the abducted daughters of ours, I could say they are doing it to their mothers, their sisters, aunts and grandmothers.”

Earlier, a video emerged of the Boko Haram group leader saying the militants intended to sell the girls, according to international media reports.

 

This image depicts an aircraft of the United S...

This image depicts an aircraft of the United States Air Force (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, the United States of America announced it will help try to rescue the girls.

 

A White House spokesman Jay Carney is quoted as saying: “We view what has happened there [in Nigeria] as an outrage and a terrible tragedy.”

“The state department has been in regular touch with the Nigerian government about what we might do to help support its efforts to find the girls and free these young women.”

A Gambian activist said the abduction of the girls is an indication of bad leadership and governance in Africa.

“I think the case has proven once more the lack of good leadership and the weak capacity of African governments that I always lament,” Madi Jobarteh, a deputy executive director of the NGOs body Tango, told The Standard.

“It is a shame that the Nigerian government would be sitting down as if they do not realize their obligation to their people.”

An Amnesty International report Friday stated the Nigerian security knew about the attack on the girls’ hours before it occurred.

“The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram’s impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.

 

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