25 April 2014

Nigeria: Abducted School Girls - Parents Seek Foreign Intervention

Photo: Vanguard
Hundreds of girls kidnapped from school (file photo).

Over 10 days after the dreaded Boko Haram sect abducted final year students of Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Chibok, Borno State, frustrated parents have sought foreign intervention since the Nigerian military have been unable to rescue the abducted girls to date.

The parents condemned the continued detention of the girls by the Boko Haram militants in the forest and lamented the glaring inability of the security operatives to rescue over 200 girls from their captors.

One of the parents of the abducted girls who spoke to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on condition of anonymity accused the federal government of letting the girls and their families down.

"Since the government has disappointed us over the rescue of our children, we'll rather seek foreign intervention; for foreign countries to wade into the matter to rescue our daughters from the kidnappers.

"We put our trust in Allah; He is the only One that will shield our daughters from the hand of the merciless Boko Haram members," he said.

APC wants Jonathan to cancel Adamawa, other rallies

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to cancel the political rally being planned for him by the Adamawa PDP for Tuesday, saying the President cannot and should not be celebrating when over 200 school girls are missing.

"We hope and pray that our daughters are released safely even before Tuesday, April 29, when the rally is to be held, but until then, it is insensitive and indecent for anyone, least of all the president who is the father of the nation, to engage in any celebratory outing under any guise," the APC said in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its interim national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

It warned the president not repeat the blunder he committed less than 24 hours after 75 of his compatriots were killed in the Nyanya bombing.

"All decent men and women were riled that President Jonathan went dancing at an illegal campaign stop in Kano and popping champagne corks at a birthday celebration in Ibadan when the smoke was yet to clear from the scene of the Nyanya bombing

"The president should not repeat the same mistake, if indeed he considered that to be one. He should see the missing girls as his own daughters and stop forthwith his illegal campaign rallies," APC said.

The party said the ongoing bickering over the site of the rally in Adamawa, close to the scene of the sad abduction of the girls, is distracting from what should be a concerted national effort to find the girls and reunite them safely with their families. "For a President whose grovelling aides have likened to Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and other great leaders in a patently blasphemous campaign, he should take time to ask himself how Obama would have reacted to one missing girl from any school in the US, not to talk of over 200 missing girls.

SERAP calls on UN to help

Meanwhile, an NGO, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the United Nations to urgently intervene and rescue the 230 students in Boko Haram custody.

The organization wants the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) of the UN Security Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) to provide "international assistance and support to the Nigerian authorities to secure the release of the children and to ensure that they are back to school."

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