3 May 2014

#BringBackOurGirls: protest over Nigerian kidnappings

Special Correspondent and Presenter

A protest is held in London to demand the Nigerian government do more to rescue more than 200 school girls abducted by militants.

Demonstrators waved banners saying “bring back our girls” and chanted “free our sisters”, outside the Nigerian embassy in London on Saturday to raise awareness about the plight of the missing girls.

The protesters held a two minutes silence to criticize the Nigerian government’s handling of the rescue effort and urge the British government to lend their support.

The 273 girls, who range in age from 16 to 18, were abducted from their boarding school in northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok and taken away in trucks by a Nigerian militant group in the middle of the night on 14 April.

Currently, around 220 girls are still missing, and an estimated 52 have reportedly escaped.

‘Mass kidnap’

So far, the military has had no success locating the girls and nothing has been heard from them since. The region is said to a hotbed for Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, whose name translates to “western education is forbidden.”

American playwright Bonnie Greer – who was at the protest – told Channel 4 News: “It’s a sad thing to say but we know its true, a black girl’s life isn’t worth as much as a white girls life. It’s mass kidnap, mass rape, we need to find those children and give them back to their mothers and fathers”.

British Nigerian protestor Edith Adejobi told Channel 4 News that she felt the issue was being dismissed by politicians and the British media.

She said: “Black school girls have been kidnapped into sexual slavery, girls who look like me, girls who come from where I come from.”

Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, who was also at the demonstration, on Saturday pledged to take up the issue with Foreign Secretary William Hague.

She told Channel 4 News: “The only thing that all of us can do is stand up and speak for a more equal and fairer world and say those girls have a right to education we must do what we can to protect it.”