On the six-month anniversary of the missing schoolgirls of Chibok being kidnapped by Boko Haram, #BringBackOurGirls ralliers (pictured above) were stopped from marching near the president’s grounds in protest and Pakastani girls education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai (pictured) called for concerned citizens and activists to raise their voices “louder than ever” for the girls, reports the BBC.
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On Tuesday, droves of Nigerian citizens and campaigners set to keep the issue of the missing girls in the forefront of the government’s mind with their protests. Unfortunately, police prevented ralliers fom getting near their intended destination.
#BringBackOurGirls organiser Maureen Kabrik told the press the challenges they met on their marching route, “We’re here. We’re a civil group. We’re not a disobedient group. Yet, they stopped us with heavy arms.”
Distraught Mother Hannatu Daudu spoke to the press about the loss of her daughter Saratu who called her and her husband shortly after the kidnapping happened.
“When she called, we were all lying in the compound. She said: ‘Some people have come to take us and they have rounded us up. Please pray for us’. And then her father and the rest of us kept praying,” Dauda recalls.
“After some minutes she called again to say: ‘Daddy they have taken all of us from school. We have been loaded onto a truck and we don’t know where they are taking us to. Please tell my mummy to forgive me until we meet again.'”
“We are in a desperate situation. Sometimes, when we go to the farm and remember what has happened we just start crying and can’t work.”
A Clarion Call for Action
In July, Yousafzai paid a three-day visit to Nigerian President Goodluck during her 17th birthday, demanding that he meet with some of the escaped girls and grief-stricken parents.
While President Jonathan eventually met with a small group about a week later, he had not accepted to meet with any of his citizens who have been directly affected by Boko Haram’s incessant attacks previously.
Nearly 300 girls were kidnapped on April 14th. And while the mass abduction prompted a worldwide outcry for the girls to be returned home, as the days have turned into weeks and the weeks have turned into months, the momentum of the #BringBackOurGirls movement on the ground has lost some of its momentum.
This fact caused Malala to post the following statement on her site:
Six months after the Boko Haram kidnapping of 273 Nigerian school girls, we must raise our voices again and louder than ever to demand that the more than 200 girls still in captivity be freed, reunited with their families, and receive a quality and safe education. I urge the Nigerian government and the international community to re-double their efforts to bring a quick and peaceful conclusion to this crisis. #BringBackOurGirls
Malala also reposted the following video of her April visit to Nigeria:
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