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Nigeria: Women march to National Assembly over abduction of 234 schoolgirls, as Mark, Tambuwal, promise govt action
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By Victor Iluyemi
May 1, 2014 00:54:39am GMT      |      Views: 2140
National Assembly

WorldStage Newsonline-- Over 500 Nigerian Women on Wednesday defied heavy rainfall to protest to the inability of the Nigerian military to rescue the 234 schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

The women took their anger to  the National Assembly where they expressed their displeasure over the abduction of the girls.

They carried  various placards with inscription such as , "Rescue our Chibok girls, bring back our girls alive, Where are my sisters, let peace and justice reign,our daughters going for N2000" besieged the venue.

The rally which started around 3.30pm was led by a tearful former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili, human rights activists, Mariam Uwais, Saudatu Sani among other leaders of various civil society groups.

Despite the rain, the protesters marched towards the National Assembly to compel those in authorities to take more definite action concerning the disappearance of the girls.

The Coordinator of the Human Rights Agenda Network, Hadiza Bala Usman said the reading from Chibok was that all Nigerians, including the military and the security personnel are at great risk of being consumed by the aggression of those who have ambushed the peace and security of peace and prosperity of Nigerians.

She added that the trend of conflicting information about the exact number of girls who are still missing and even the operations are regrettable.

The group lamented that the fact no group has come out to claim responsibility for the abduction of the girls made it disturbing, stressing that this made it imperative for Nigerians to amplify and demand that those with the responsibility for the safety of all Nigerians should act and constructively engage to find and return the girls to their parents.

Some of the pertinent questions raised by the group includes, "where are our daughters and when will they be brought back home, how is it possible in the age of drones, google maps and aerial surveillance that over 200 girls will vanish without a trace.

"Is this suggestive of the weaknesses of security operations covering soft targets such as schools even after clear indications of their vulnerability.

"Why was protection for our children in the North East not intensified even after the devastation and pain of the 59 innocent children murdered in FGC Buni Yadi in February 25, 2014?

"How is it that security is not upgraded around institutions even when warnings of potential threat or imminent aggressions are issued.

"What is the rational explanation that in a location in Borno State under the state of emergency; 4 trucks and numerous motor bikes can deploy, move in a convoy, unleash terror on the school at Chibokk and then flee with over 200 girls to a location yet to be determined?"

Ezekwesili said, "It began to look as if we as Nigerians are totally without empathy and I know that those of you who have turned out here are the symbol of the past of our countries that our country is not a country of people that are careless about their fellow human being.

"We are so frustrated at the fact that 234 of our children would get missing and there is actually no coherent as to touch and rescue that is going on concerning them, as a result of this, the papers that you got contained the issue that were resting with the authority of thus country.

"Our leadership must show a presence of mind concerning the situation that will have with our daughters, how many of you saw the Chibok mothers on news?

“Isn't that heart breaking, they felt that they have been abandoned by not just the government but by all of us, is it a good thing for a citizen to feel that way?

We want to compel the right time of momentum for the search and the discovery of those children and bringing them back, we don't care about any stories on this, there must be concerted effort to bring back our girls, if one Nigeria girl is missing it would be all of us are missing not to talk of 234 Nigerian girls is missing."

Senate  President, David Mark who defied the heavily rainfall to receive the women at the outer gate of the National Assembly, assured  that Nigeria government will ensure the release of the abducted secondary school girls.

Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha were among Nigerian lawmakers who also defied the heavily rainfall in Abuja to receive the women.

The women defied the windy and heavy rainfall to protest the abduction of 234 school girls in Chibok, Borno State 17 days ago.

The women lamented and wailed uncontrollably.

Both Mark, Tambuwal and Ihedioha were heavily drenched too.

The National Assembly had barely risen from its plenary session when the angry women stormed the National Assembly to register their protests before the law makers.

The women numbering over 500 and all dressed in red and black attired defied the heavy downpour to March on the National Assembly.

They urged the leadership of the legislature to do something urgently to rescue the girls.

Mark stepped into the rain alongside other principal officers of the Upper and Lower chamber of the National Assembly to address the protesting women.

He lamented the continued captivity of the girls saying it had reached an unbearable stage.

Mark was quoted by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, in a statement to have said that: "Our hearts are with you at this critical moment. The Senators and members of the House of Representatives wept over this abduction. We have reached an unbearable stage. We can no longer tolerate this.

"We are drenched. Totally soaked in the rain. It is better to be beaten by the rain and get our children freed from their captors. If it means standing in the rain until the girls are freed we are prepared to do so.

"We are lost of words. We can only apologize that it is taking this long to get these girls released. We are not going to rest until the last of the girls is freed. All the security apparatus , all of us must get involved in this battle. There is no mistaken the fact that we are in a state of war. With God on our side, we shall triumph over evil".

The grieving women most of them wailing uncontrollably urged the Government to employ all that is needed to rescue the girls.

One of the Speakers and former Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili said the situation has become intolerable.

Ezekwesili cautioned that nothing should be left to chance to save the children.

She reminded the government at all levels of its primary goals including the welfare and security of citizens.

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