Jonathan shuns #bringbackourgirls campaigners

Jonathan shuns #bringbackourgirls campaigners

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:18 pm

Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

President Goodluck Jonathan again refused to meet the Abuja family of #BringBackOurGirls, BBOG activists on Tuesday as heavily armed police and officials of other security agencies stopped the planned march of the group to Aso Rock presidential.

The group which is campaigning is pushing for the rescue of the schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, on April 15 had earlier indicated it intention to meet with the President to mark the 60 days anniversary of the abduction of the students.

But this was not to be as heavily armed anti riot police men who had been deployed to all entrances very early on Tuesday morning to the Presidential villa stood like a rock of Gilbratar against the protesters at the Yakubu Gowon crescent, Asokoro, Abuja end where they had planned to enter.

Policewomen mount human wall against the #Bringbackourgirls protesters at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

Policewomen mount human wall against the #Bringbackourgirls protesters at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

Female officers in full riot gear formed the first line of a barricade against members of the group, stopping them from advancing further.

However, Hajia Zainab Maina, the the Minister of women Affairs who led other female minister to meet the activists later addressed the group. Maina told the protesters that the President is busy and he cannot meet them.

She however said the President was the one who asked the female minister to meet the protesters.

Maina who was accompanied by Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, Minister of Environment, Mrs Lawrencia Laraba-Mallam, Minister of Land and Housing, Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, represented President Goodluck Jonathan, said, “We are here to meet you because Mr. President,
cannot come out, he has meetings and since already you are out that’s why we are asked to come here and meet with you and to apologise for his inability to be here personally.

File Photo: protest in Abuja over abducted school girls in April

File Photo: protest in Abuja over abducted school girls in April

“But you can see we are all members of the Federal Executive Council” Maina said to the protesters.

“Even though you wrote a letter to the President, he can ask us to come and address you.

“That’s why we are here to address all of you here. You want to meet with Mr. President and find out why up till now the girls have not been rescued back to be reunited with their family.

“We are here to reassure you as a responsible government, there’s no government in the world that will sit back and be comfortable while the citizens of the country are abducted and we don’t know their condition,” said the minister.

The minister of women affairs also assured that the government is doing all within its
power to rescue the abducted girls.

“Government is trying all it could to make sure that these girls are brought back. They are our daughters. We are all mothers; as much as it hurts you, it hurts us even the fathers. You know as well as we do some of you are very much aware of the efforts that the government has been making to make sure that these girls our daughters are brought back alive.

“There are some technicality issues that border on security, we are all know that our military personnel are out there in the bush doing what they can. It is not that they cannot force themselves in there but they have some technical ways of doing their things which we civilian do not know. ”

Dr. Oby Ezekwezili one of the leaders of the group had earlier accused the minister of conniving with the Police to stop the activists from meeting with the President. while addressing the ministers, she said
“We had written the President as part of our global call to action concerning the rescue of the Chibok girls that we would be visiting him exactly on the day that marks six months of the Chibok girls abduction.

“We have come to join up and have that meeting so that we can listen to Mr. President and convey to him the incredible urgency that we we desire concerning the rescue of the Chibok girls and to hear from

“Mr. President what exactly is going on concerning the rescue of the Chibok girls. We are not sure why we are not being allowed to proceed to see Mr. President and so we need to get answers to that,” said Ezekwesili.

The group also gave the Minister of women affairs 5 questions to be answered by Mr. President, asking for the whereabout of the 219 chibok girls that were abducted on the 14th of April 2014.

This is the second attempt by the group to take their protest to the Villa since the girls’ abduction.

It will be recalled the group was also similarly prevented from meeting with the President in May. Some top government officials, including the Minister of State for FCT, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide had also addressed them on behalf of the president.

Akinjide had the group then to direct its protests to Boko Haram and not the government, and urged them to learn from citizens of other countries who do not blame their governments for any terrorist act.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.