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Scores of aggrieved women of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State yesterday protested against the abduction of 276 female students of Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram Sect.
Likewise, the state councils of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) also staged a protest to State governor’s office in Ikeja, demanding an unconditional release of the girls abducted precisely one month ago.
But the protesters, who were led by the state’s APC Women Leader and former Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Kemi Nelson, called on the federal government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry into the incident of the girls’ abduction.
The protesters submitted a letter of protest to the President Goodluck Jonathan through Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), in which they demanded safe release of the girls among others.
In the letter received by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, the protesting women expressed dismay at the apparent inaction of the federal government towards securing an unconditional release of the abducted girls.
The letter accused the president of insensitivity toward the incident, thereby recalling that despite the untoward happening and the fact that parents of those children were going through serious trauma, the president danced publicly at a campaign rally in Kano.
Also in a letter of protest, the labour unions appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians, including religious leaders and the international community, to continue to put pressure on the Boko Haram to release the girls unconditionally.
According to the unions’ letter, “We have chosen to toe the line of peaceful approach to the resolution of the problem because of its sensitive nature. If violence was employed in the effort to secure the release of the girls, it will lead to bloodshed and the casualty toll might inevitably include the girls themselves.
Similarly, some primary and secondary school students in Lagos yesterday went on a protest to register their dismay over the rising cases of abduction of school children in the state.
With placards denouncing the evil act perpetuated by the Boko Haram sect, the concerned school children from Holy Family, Prevailer and DMT Schools in Ijegun, Ikotun, took to the streets in a peaceful protest.
Condemning the abduction of over 200 female school children from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, the protesters however decried the rising trend in Lagos.
According to them, while attention had been focused on the Chibok incident, the government needs to also beam its searchlight on similar incidents in Lagos, one of which was the alleged abduction of four school children from Best Gift School, Ologun, Ikotun.
They said although one of the victims, a five-year-old boy, was later rescued and returned to the parents, the whereabouts of the remaining three children were yet to be known, neither their fate known.
In Edo State, the Catholic Church Ladies of St. Mulumba (LSM) Nigeria, Benin-City Metropolitan yesterday staged a protest, asking the abductors to let go of the girls without any condition attached.
The group from Asaba, Warri and Benin City who protested in the streets of Benin City, said they had watched with anguish and grieve a phenomenon which looked like a nightmare and wish to wake up from sleep and hear it was only a dream has become a reality.
Speaking with journalists, Lady Martha Omo-Osagie, spokeperson of the group, said they recalled that since the present insurgency started, some faceless persons have carried out all types of atrocities in some parts of the country; burning and bombing markets, houses, mosques, churches, police stations, the gruesome murder of about 40 students in their sleep, in a College of Agriculture, Yobe State was still fresh in their minds.
In Jos, members of the state chapter of Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ), members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday staged a peaceful match from NUJ secretariat Jos to the state House of Assembly to demand the return of the over 200 girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State.
The procession which commenced at about 9a.m. also had members of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) who matched to the state House of Assembly where the crowd was addressed by the deputy speaker Hon. Joyce Ramnap.
The state President of International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ladi Madaki said “Plateau State was supported when it faced turmoil sometimes ago, posterity will not forgive us if we keep quiet this time. Our appeal is for the girls to come back alive, unharmed and re-united with their families.”
In her remark, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Joyce Ramnap noted the unfortunate incident has united Nigerians to fight a common enemy, the Boko Haram, adding that she was optimistic that the girls would be brought safe to their parents.