#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS CAMPAIGN: SOUTH AFRICA RALLIES AROUND NIGERIA AGAINST BOKO HARAM

Posted by Ifedayo Oshin on Sunday, June 8, 2014 Under: News Stories


If there is anything Boko Haram insurgency has done for Nigeria in the international community, it is the engendering of support for Nigeria from nations and citizens of the world. The twitter handle and trend #BringBackOurGirls has become one of the most popularly discussed and displayed topic and item across digital and physical spaces.

This was passionately demonstrated some weeks ago as some groups of concerned citizens of South Africa, Nigerian community and other nationals galvanised in their hundreds and had a rally on Thursday 8th of May 2014 from Sandton City rooftop, The Tiger and Wheel entrance, across from the US embassy and marched right through to the Nigerian Consulate on Illovo Rivonia, Johannesburg where they delivered a memorandum. The rally was in solidarity to pressurize world leaders to do all they can to free the 234 girls kidnapped in Chibok Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

In the usual South African style, comrades!!!, amandla!!! awethu!! and other  chants as well as singing in English and South African languages rant the air as activists arrived at the consulate where they read and submitted the content of the memorandum to senior officials of Consulate, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to take serious actions towards a safe return of the missing girls.

The memorandum was presented as the position of participating South African lawyers, feminists, activists and entertainment practitioners as well as concerned Nigerians, on the issues of the abducted girls. They expressed their dissatisfaction that not much has been done to secure the release of the girls. The solidarity group demanded that the girls should be found at all cost. They called for the safety and protection of the rights of the African child. The group condemned the dastard act of Boko Haram in its entirety. It is a shame, said the group, that African leaders were discussing economics at the World Economic Forum in Nigeria while over 200 girls are missing. They called on African leaders to bring issues of social justice to the discussion table.

A senior official Mr. Eze Jonathan the Head of Chancery at the Nigerian Consulate responded on behalf of the Consul-General “Let me on-behalf of the Consul-General who is unavoidably absent, he is in Nigeria. Let me on his behalf just give a little response, we are very grateful and thankful for sharing our pain, we have one Africa and you have actually demonstrated that Africa is one not minding whatever international boundary that exist. We thank you immensely for this, as you are aware our government called on international community to assist in whatever way possible to locate and help to bring back our kidnapped girls, it is very painful to every Nigerian and every African as you have shown from Cape to Cairo, you have demonstrated that we are one and we are grateful for that. Our government has promised some financial reward to anybody that can give information on the location of these girls, so that the security forces in any way possible can send people to move in and release the girls. I promise to deliver your letter to the appropriate office”

Prudence Mabele, the reader of the memorandum expressed satisfaction with the official who received the group. “We spoke to the councilor who received us and he was very positive. We hope things are going to be ok after this”.

Rosie Motene an activist, TV producer and a concerned citizen who was one of the organizers gave her view of the issue during an interview with The Nigerian Voice Newspaper “the incident that happened in Chibok is a global incident and for the fact that it was tried to be pushed under the carpet is disgusting, we need to protect our girls from terrorism because that is what this is about. It’s not a Nigerian problem so it shouldn’t just stay in Nigeria, it’s a terrorist problem and the fact that women and children’s body are been used for wars and mass destructions needs to come to an end, and the fact that people can go into other peoples community and forbid them to educate their daughters is disgusting and it needs to come to an end”. Conclusively her message to the Nigerian Government, AU and concerned citizens of the world is that “If you try to push something under the carpet we will raise above it, we will make noise; you see what happened here, same thing is happening in Cape Town, the whole of South Africa are behind us”.

Also Mr. Adetunji Omotola the Founder of the Gilds of Nigerian Professionals in South Africa and a social commentator expressed his anger and devastation because after 24 days the girls should have been rescued “basically the reason why we are here at the consulate is to show solidarity for the 231 girls that have been abducted by Boko Haram in Chibok. In fact many of the girls who escaped did that through their own devices, so I think we have about 53 girls who have escaped and we have about 232 girls or so still with Boko Haram. So we are here matching in Solidarity with South Africans and showing our support and to bring the memorandum to the consulate, we have a set of demands that we want the government to do and those request are in the memorandum that have been delivered.


In : News Stories 



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