More than one million Nigerian women have been called to march in procession through the streets of the federal capital of Abuja to demand the release of 234 female students who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists a few weeks ago.
According to The Guardian, an organization called Women for Peace and Justice has arranged the march and asked that women to come into the streets dressed in red to protest the lack of resources being committed to securing the girls’ release. Numerous local organizations of Muslim and Christian women joined hands in the march to put pressure on their husbands to solve the situation of the missing girls.
“Let us put aside all differences of faith, ethnic, let’s all join hands to free these girls,” said Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima, wife of the governor of Borno state where the extremist group, Boko Haram, has its main camp.
The kidnap of the school girls, which occurred on April 14, has enraged the nation which has long been under attack by the terrorist organization whose aim is to establish an Islamic caliphate within the country which would allow for the imposition of sharia law.
The population of Nigeria is half Muslim and half Christian.
Since 2010, more than 2,000 innocent lives have been lost to the murderous sect whose name means, “Western education is anathema”. The group has set schools on fire, massacred students in their sleep and detonated bombs at university campus churches.
Their latest act of terror occurred during the night of April 14 when armed militants stormed a dormitory in Chibok and captured hundreds of girls ranging in age from 12 to 18.
The Nigerian government, led by president Goodluck Jonathon, bungled the search for the girls almost immediately. First, they proclaimed that only 129 had been kidnapped, then said that all but eight had been released. Both claims were proven false. Meanwhile, precious time had been wasted in the search for the girls who are believed to have been taken to the group’s stronghold in the Sambisa Forest area.
Government inaction spawned citizen-led search parties who have penetrated the woods surrounding the camps, much to their own peril, in search of the missing girls.
Many were heartbroken to learn this past week that locals claim a mass wedding took place at the compound last weekend where the girls were said to have been sold as brides to Islamist fighters for 2,000 naira ($12) each. The girls were then taken into neighboring Chad and Cameroon. This report has not yet been independently confirmed.
The latest march is one of several that have taken place in recent days where grieving parents are assembling to pressure the government to do more.
Their efforts may be paying off as a motion was introduced in the senate on Tuesday of this week urging the government to seek help from other countries and the UN security council in the effort to rescue these girls.
International support for the movement has also been growing on Twitter under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
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