Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Twenty-one days after the abduction of over 200 school girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, youths and students in Maiduguri, the state capital, have threatened to shut down academic activities if the girls are not found within the next 19 days.
The youths who staged a peaceful walk in solidarity with the abducted girls, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to intensify the search for the students and return them safely to their parents before the 40th day of their abduction.
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Leading the procession was Fatima Zanna Maliki, who said it was important that students all over the globe join them in the protest in other to force world leaders to pressurize President Jonathan to take necessary action which will lead to the release of the school girls.
“We the youth and students in Borno state have endured unimaginable hardship for the past four years and we took it upon ourselves to call upon stakeholders and the president in particular to act urgently,” Maliki said.
The youths carried placards with inscriptions such as, “Please Note all Borno youths are not insurgents”, “Rescue our education system”, “They are our sisters, they are our daughters”, “Bring back our girls”, “Borno remain the home of peace”, “21 days still missing , we need action not….”, “FGN create employment for our youths in Nigeria”.
Maliki also urged the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, to play her motherly role in the present challenges facing the country rather than apportion blames.
The youths who already declared Wednesday lecture-free to further demand the release of the girls, warned that if the students are not freed before their 40th day in captivity they will bring all students across the country to protest at the Ramat Square in Maiduguri.
They also expressed appreciation to civil society organisations, women groups, community and religious leaders, as well as the international community for their support and urged them not to relent until the girls are returned safely to their families.