© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
One Million Women March On Abuja For Kidnapped Girls
Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
One million women from all over the country will on Wednesday converge in Abuja, to pressurise the federal government into taking more concrete actions that will lead to the release of over 200 girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
The plan was disclosed by women rights activist, Hauwa Abdu Biu, on Sunday after an emergency meeting with the Borno First Lady, Nana Kashim Shettima in Maiduguri.
Only last week, Biu led a coalition of Borno women to a press conference, where they offered to go into the Sambisa Forest, one of the strongholds of the Boko Haram insurgents where the girls are believed to be held hostage, to effect their release.
But she said Sunday that there has been a change in the plan and that the one million women march which is tagged “Free our girls” will involve participants from all over the country.
“The last time we were in black but this time around the colour for the Abuja rally is red so we should all be prepared and mobilise ourselves for the rally,” she said.
Earlier, first lady, while addressing the meeting called on the wives of the service chiefs both in the state and at the federal to assist in mounting pressures on their husbands to intensify efforts towards rescuing the abducted school girls.
“I want to seek this opportunity to appeal to women of security chiefs at the national and state level to mount pressures on your spouses to intensify effort to rescue our dear children. Let us all put our differences aside irrespective of our faith, ethnic, let us all join hands together to rescue these girls, I know that we can do it, Almighty Allah is with us,” she said.
Other women who spoke at the meeting call on the federal government and the security agencies to intensify efforts towards rescuing the kidnapped school girls.
They also called for prayers and fasting in mosques and churches for God to touch the hearts of the insurgents so that they can release the girls unharmed.
A lawyer, Aisha Wakil, who has been in the forefront of calling on the insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue cautioned against the use of force in rescuing the girls.
The meeting had in attendance wives of service chiefs in the state, non-governmental organizations, women professional bodies, representatives of Federation of Muslims Women Associations, FOMWAN,, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, among others.