The United Nations has expressed concern for the over 200 school girls between the ages of 12 to 17 years who were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014 by suspected terrorist and are yet to be found.
In a joint statement by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, the UN women executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, it said attacks against the liberty of children and the targeting of schools are prohibited under international law and cannot be justified under any circumstances.
“We urge those who are responsible for their abduction to release them unharmed, and return them safely to their families, where they rightfully belong. Schools are and must remain places of safety and security, where children can learn and grow in peace,” the statement said.
It stressed that girls and young women must be allowed to go to school without fear of violence and unjust treatment so that they can play their rightful role as equal citizens of the world.
“Women and girls have the right to live free from intimidation, persecution and all other forms of discrimination. We stand with the Nigerian people, especially the parents and families of the abducted girls,” it added.
Meanwhile, one million women dressed in red from all over the country will stage a peace walk this afternoon to pressurise the federal government into taking more concrete actions that will lead to the release of the girls.
Another group known as the Muslims Against Terror organization led by Peregrino Brimah has called for a “National Jihad”, to free the abducted 200 girls.
“It is the national struggle or strive for all youths in Nigeria and abroad who are willing to fight for a righteous cause, to volunteer and register with Borno JTF and align with the civilian JTF to assemble at Borno and set to search the Sambisa forest for all terrorists and rescue our kidnapped daughters,” Brimah said.
“It is written in Holy Quran 22:39:40, Allah(s) Declares in the Quran: Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory. 40. [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah,” he stated further.
He called for maximum cooperation from the Kanuri indigenes and other ethnic groups and locals to work with the security service, Army, civilian JTF in order to locate all the camps of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest.
“We also need the help of our neighbouring countries (the multinational Joint Task Force) for collaboration between the government of Nigeria, Chad, Niger Republic, Cameroon to assist us checkmate the movement of people and to fight the Insurgents operating along their common borders,” he said.
The National Assembly has also urged the federal government to declare full scale military operation against insurgents in the North East, since they have blatantly rejected any form of dialogue.
Senate President, David Mark, said the heightened spate of terrorist attacks and killings carried out by insurgents in the North East amounted to a declaration of war against the country.
“There is no doubt that our nation is at war. The enemy has clearly and unequivocally served the nation notice of its vile intentions. It is obvious that we are dealing with insurgents and well-funded nihilists who are determined to violently trample upon the secularity of the Nigerian state and destroy the country,” Mark said.
The House of Representatives has also summoned the service chiefs to brief members on actions taken so far to free the abducted girls.