22 July 2014

Nigerian Women, British MP Mark 100 Days of Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction With Rally

NIGERIAN Women under the aegis of the Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum (NWDLF), Tuesday held a rally to mark 100 days of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls with a 90- minute demonstration opposite the Nigerian High Commission. About midway into the rally which commenced at noon, Shadow Health Secretary, Dianne Abott, Member of Parliament, joined the handful of demonstrators , urging both the Nigerian people and the international community not to forget that the girls are still in the hands of Boko Haram.

Led by the likes of the former mayor of Enfield, councillor Kate Anolue and the former speaker of Hackney council , councillor Susan Jumoke Fajana - Thomas , they chanted and chorused :" bring back our girls, bring back our girls," and " what do we want? Our girls. When do we want them? Now," among others , the demonstrators expressed concerns that the government is not open about efforts being made to rescue the girls. Abott, the first black female MP in British politics , addressed the rally, saying, " both the British authorities and the Nigerian authorities need to know that we haven't forgotten our girls," and that "until these girls are back home, we will continue to campaign , we will continue to demonstrate. We have not forgotten our girls . This was an atrocity and we look to the authorities both in Nigeria and worldwide to bring these girls back home."

Abott continued, " the idea that girls should be abducted and victimised for wanting to seek an education is very wrong. It's very wrong and is contrary to the aspirations of women in Nigeria and around the world ." Abott rounded off her speech, saying " I am here to join the women to say the authorities should bring back our girls ," because " we have not forgotten . "

President of NWDLF , Jenny Okafor told The Guardian that with "so many things happening, and people's attention being diverted , it is important that we keep them - the girls - in focus. " Okafor also noted that the NWDLF decided to organise the rally as a way of showing solidarity to the parents of the missing schoolgirls . "If they see this in the press , they will know they are not alone and that we have not forgotten about these girls."

Fielding questions from the Guardian, Founder of Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, (AFRUCA), Debbie Ariyo, said " the Nigerian government needs to make a decision on how to get these girls out. They can't sit down and hope a miracle will happen. If it were theirs, they won't sit down, they would have deployed all resources. We haven't seen what they have done. I hope that in the next 100 days, we won't have to come here again. "

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