Mo Abudu joins hundreds of Lagosians in “Bring Back our Girls” Rally
Lagos, Nigeria (May 05, 2014) Executive Chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TV, Mo Abudu, joined Women for Peace and Justice, a coalition of civil society groups, human rights activists and other good spirited Nigerians in a sympathy rally on Monday, lending her super celebrity voice and status to the global call for the rescue and return of Nigeria’s missing children, the Chibok school girls.
Over 200 secondary school girls were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 15, 2014, by a suspected militant group, Boko Haram, a situation which has attracted huge international attention and outcry, especially in the United Kingdom and the USA.
In the one million-man march to the Lagos State Governor’s office organized by the coalition, the group called on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; members of the National Assembly and all the security agencies to urgently rev up the nation’s security machinery, rescue the kidnapped girls and also forestall further mishaps capable of endangering Nigerians and jeopardizing the peace of the nation.
“These indeed, are trying times for us as a nation,” began Mo Abudu. “The abduction of the Chibok girls from their school shows the shocking abyss that we may be descending into as a nation. This is one national disaster too many and we must all rise to condemn the dastardly and unconscionable act. These girls are future mothers and nation builders and they cannot just disappear like that. They must be found! Everyone must do something; the government and we the people alike. It’s a Monday morning when we all should perhaps be at work, but it’s important to take a moment to let the world know that we stand with these girls, their families, their communities and the nation at large, at this grave moment.”
The demonstration, which had a large turnout of aggrieved protesters, took an enormous toll on the Monday morning traffic as it caused major snarl-ups and disruption on all roads leading to the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa.
However, the demands of the discontented Lagosians were clear and strident. Coordinator of the Lagos rally, Mrs Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Executive Director of Murtala Muhammed Foundation had this to say: “We are making it a little uncomfortable for the people trying to get to work, but it is important for all of us to stop, pause and think about the pain and suffering of the girls and the anguish of their families who have suffered untold emotional trauma since the incident occurred.”
Continuing, she said; “The longer it takes to rescue our girls, the greater the dangers they are exposed to. The lack of action is unacceptable, the growing insecurity is worrisome and we as Nigerians demand an immediate end to the politicization of insecurity in this country.”
Another member of the rally, Ms. Yemisi Ransome Kuti of the Cosmopolitan Women’s club noted that everyone present at the rally was a concerned citizen that did not believe that those directly concerned had put in adequate effort towards rescuing the missing girls. “Today, we and millions of Nigerian women, men and children call on the Federal Government, members of the National Assembly and the security agencies to bring back our girls and the women living in captivity alive!” she said.
The group questioned many issues surrounding the globally condemned abduction including why security had not been beefed up around more vulnerable targets even after threats by the militant group; how terrorists could pass freely in an area that was supposedly under emergency rule; why insecurity was on the increase in spite of massive increase in military spending by government in the country; and why there was so much confusion about the exact number of the missing girls.
The protest march, which also had celebrities like BankyW, Tiwa Savage, Waje, along with secondary school children, market women and many well-meaning Nigerians, commenced at the Allen Roundabout Ikeja and proceeded towards Awolowo Way onto the Governor’s office, Alausa, where the coalition handed over its petition to the Governor for onward relay to His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan.