8 May 2014

Nigeria: Chibok Abduction - Female Police, Civil Defence Officers Protest in Lafia

Nigeria's military had advanced warning of the April 14 attack by Boko Haram that led to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls but failed to ... ( Resource: Amnesty Int'l: Nigeria Ignored Boko Haram Warnings )

Lafia — Dozens of wailing female personnel of the police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Nasarawa State, today, joined dozens of other women on the street of Lafia, chanting "Bring Back Our Girls", to add a voice the worldwide protests to free the abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State.

Major roads and streets of Lafia echoed with "We Want Our Daughters, Bring Back Our Daughters," in the protest jointly organized by Federation of Muslim Woman Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), and the women wing of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), female police and Civil Defence, who marched on with the protesters, were heard chanting and wailing alongside the protesters.

The female security operatives were led by two Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), one of who told this reporter that as women they had a duty to the country to call for the release of the 276 girls still missing after Boko Haram insurgents abducted them from Chibok, 24 days ago.

She said: "We are law enforcement officers and men. See us, we are women, we are mothers. It is our daughters today, it could be we tomorrow," she said as she struggled to keep a straight face from sobbing out loudly.

Another female police personnel broke from chanting "We Want Our Daughters, Bring Back Our Daughter," and raised her hands up in the air in demonstration of prayers to God. She said: "Oh, God help Nigeria. Save our daughters."

Clad in black and black attire to demonstrate the depth of their grief, the placard carrying protesters who converged at the Araf Specialists' Hospital (DASH) along Shendam Road, began the march at about 7:20am.

They marched on to Makurdi Road, Jos Road, UAC Road, and returned to Shendam Road in the protest that dragged on for hours.

The placards bore messages calling for the release of the schoolgirls, as they also suggested anger against the government's slow handling of the incident to free the girls.

The protest march returned to Shendam Road where it started. They headed to Government House, marching slowly, in what grounded traffic along the major road, stretching vehicles for several metres on both sides of the road.

Led by the state chairpersons of FOMWAN and women CAN, Hajiya Hannatu Mohamed Kabir, and Mrs. Lydia Attah, the protesters, comprising women of all ages including teenagers and the aged stopped at the Government gate where they were received by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hajiya Zainab Abdulmumin on behalf of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.

Al-Makuura had travelled to Abuja for the ongoing World Economic Forum summit.

The women offered prayers as they made recitations from both the Bible and the Quran, raiding their voices up to God for intervention.

They accused government of turning a deaf hear to the cries of the abducted girls, which the protesters said they can hear in their grieving hearts.

They handed a protest letter to the SSG to deliver to the governor, for unward transmission to President Goodluck Jonathan.

No sooner had the FOMWAN leader, Hajiya Hannatu handed the letter, than women burst into wailing, with some of them accusing the federal government and security agencies for alleged insensitivity to the worldwide cries to work towards the freedom of the girls still missing.

One women and the other screamed uncomplimentary remarks against the federal government, constantly interrupting the proceeding of the receipt of the letter.

The SSG thanked them for adding a voice to help in the freeing of the girls, calling on their support to the federal government during the trying time.

Later in the day, the women CAN leader, Mrs. Lydia called Daily Trust to add up the association's grief on the incident of Alakyo, outside Lafia, where 74 security operatives were murdered on the night of May 7.

She said: "We are again, condemning the incident in Alakyo. We join widows and other relatives of the law enforcement officers who died in that operation, to remember this day. We pray that God will give the families the fortitude to continue to bear the loss."

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