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Fashola, protesters sign petition to bring back abducted school girls

Published by Daily Trust on Fri, 02 May 2014

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola on Thursday joined hundreds of Nigerian women in signing the petition asking the Federal Government to ensure safe return of abducted students at a government College in Chibok, Borno state.A coalition of women groups and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) had in the morning staged a peaceful protest in Onikan area of Lagos State, demanding release of the abducted female students.The Governor, who briefly addressed the protesters, said his government shared in their plights and urged them not to relent as they press for unconditional release of the abducted students.The protesting women all wore branded red and white T-shirts with bold inscription like: "CHIBOK: bring back our girls", "Stolen Future: Bring our daughters back alive". Others carried placards with messages such as: "enough is enough" "Bring back all and not some of the girls", among others. While addressing journalists, Executive Director, Women Advocates, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi said Nigerian women are running out of patience with the way and manner the government has been handling the female students abduction and that they are ready to go to any length in pressing the government to ensure safe return of the girls."Since Monday April 14, 2014, when over 200 young female students from Government Girls School Chibok, Borno state were abducted by members of Boko Haram, millions of people around the world have been unable to come to terms with the loss and the implications of the loss."Today, millions of Nigerian women and men are calling on the Federal Government, members of National Assembly and the security operatives to bring back our girls and all the women living in captivity alive."These young girls are daughters, sisters, nieces, the women are grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters and aunts and as those directly affected grieve, we as Nigerians and human beings, join them in their anguish and distress," Dr Akiyode-Afolabi said. The women leaders said there are numerous questions begging for answers especially when one puts in mind that there was a state of emergency within the state where Boko Haram insurgents had been wreaking havocs. The women demanded among other things, the immediate and unconditional release of all women in the captivity of Boko Haram group, ask government to do all that is possible including the use of force if necessary to rescue the girls, strengthen Nigerian borders with neighbouring countries, encourage the idea of community policing among the locals and improve biometric system of Nigeria so that it will be easy to identify who is who in Nigeria.
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