Premium Times (Abuja)

16 April 2014

Nigeria: Groups Condemn Abuja Explosion, Abduction of Girls in Borno

Two women advocacy groups have condemned the continued terror attacks on Nigerians and called on the federal government to live up to her responsibility of protecting lives and properties of the citizens.

The Women Arise for Change Initiatives and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) accused the Goodluck Jonathan-led government of failing to successfully address the insurgency.

In a joint statement on Wednesday jointly signed by Joe Okei-Odumakin and Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, heads of the groups respectively, the women warned politicians against playing politics with human lives.

On Monday night, about 100 students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, were abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents who invaded their dormitory.

Earlier on Monday, at least 75 people were killed while 124 others sustained injuries in an explosion at a busy motor park in Nyanya, Abuja.

"Innocent Nigerians are being killed on daily basis, we cannot continue to fold our hands as citizens," said Mrs. Okei-Odumakin.

"Nigerian citizens must hold the government accountable for the numerous killings and wanton waste of lives of innocent citizens," she added.

Mrs. Akiyode-Afolabi noted that the government has a responsibility to protect human lives within its territory.

"Thus it is critical for the government to do all within her power to ensure that these killings stop; armed conflict retard economic growth and limits the enjoyment of human rights, therefore, should not be tolerated in any form by the government," Mrs. Akiyode-Afolabi said.

The two groups further condemned the terrorists for the abduction of the girls and their continued target of innocent women, children and girls.

"Women and girls have been victims of these conflicts. The insurgency has exposed this group of people to destitution, physical and mental insecurity," the groups said in the statement.

"We are concerned that when women and girls are abducted in this manner during conflict, they are often exposed to untold hardships of sexual violence and bodily assault as part of the spoils of war."

"Nigeria has adopted the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820 which address, amongst others things, the need for state parties to take steps to prevent further violations of women's rights in conflict situations, and to protect and ensure women's participation in post-conflict reconstruction processes. We call on the government to derive methodology to protect women and children in conflict areas.

"We also demand that the government ensure the release of these innocent girls and others that have been abducted by the terrorists in the past," they stated.

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