The abduction of over 200 female students in Nigeria sparked off series of local and international protests with the harsh tag #Bring Back Our Girls.
Whereas the international protests are directed mainly to the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram and to pressurize world powers to intervene in the search and rescue of the school girls; the local protest in Nigeria which is led among others by Mrs. Oby Ezekwesiri, a former minister of Education in Nigeria is directed to the President Goodluck Jonathan led Nigerian Government.
In a well reported government response to the protesters, the Nigerian government had asked them to re-direct their protests to the islamic terror group.
Already Nigerian social media commentators are accusing Mrs. Oby Ezekwesiri to have been paid by the political opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan to hijack the #Bring Back Our Girls protest for anti-Goodluck Jonathan campaigns.
A frequent social media commentator, Kingsley Ibeabuchi posted this on his facebook timeline:
“The #Bringbackourgirls protests is beginning to take political shape. Is Oby Ezekwesili not aware of the presence of foreign military aids;that’s already present in Chibok, searching for the girls? Is she dumb to the fact that, we have terror in our hands and we require unified effort,and well taught-out strategy to ensure safe rescue?
Obviously,She seem to be acting-out a script. Very soon,she will regret this. She that dines with the devil with tea-spoon will soon have her hands consumed.
One of the protesters at the yesterdays rally,asked that Mr. President should substantiate on the reality of the abduction of Chibok Girls? And my question is; is Mr. President a member of Boko Haram,is there no Governor in that State, or are there no records to show,or don’t these girls have parents?
I want to still ask this fellow;why should she join this protest, if She is not sure,any girl was abducted. Or, is it that the actual abductees, had been released? Does it mean that, maybe, every other story around these chibok saga are mere fallacy, doctored to achieve a rubbishing-political propaganda?
My happiness is that some foreign presence are involved in the search, and sooner or later the truth will float. All these Political destitutes will hide their heads in shame!”
Rita Egwu – Over 500 traditional hunters armed with home made guns, poisoned spears and amulets are eager to use their black magic powers (Juju) to help find the abducted girls. Aged between 18 to 80, these traditional hunters have been waiting for the past two weeks in Bornu State to get an official approval from the Nigerian Military.
With cow horn trumpets and echoing eerie war cries that can send shivers down the spin. These men were selected by their peers for their spiritual powers twirl around and stab themselves with no apparent harm. They also have herbs and other substances wrapped in leather pouches. with cowrie shells, animal teeth and leather bracelets they say they are impenetrable to bullets. They claim they are not saying they are better than the soldiers but they are laying claim to knowing the bush better. They say they have reached the end of their patience and if the government is not ready to use them then they will disband. A social commentator said: “I believe these men have what it takes to bring back our girls. This is Africa so we have an African way of solving issues that the west and their technology can not solve. I remember the days of Bakassi boys. They used charms to reduce crime in the east of Nigeria”.
A ROYAL Air Force, RAF, spy plane sent to join the international hunt for schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants has broken down on the way. The Sentinel R1 was forced to divert to Senegal with a “technical issue” and will be grounded until repairs have been completed.
Sentinel aircraft from Royal Air Force, Waddington in Lonconshire being prepared for operation in Nigeria, yesterday
Sentinel aircraft from Royal Air Force, Waddington in Lonconshire being prepared for operation in Nigeria, yesterday
The unexpected delay is a repeat of last year’s embarrassment for the UK Ministry of Defence when a C-17 transporter sent to help French troops in Mali was also temporarily grounded by technical trouble. David Cameron offered the Sentinel to the Nigerian government to use its advanced ground scanning radar to hunt for more than 200 school girls abducted from a school hostel last month.
The modified executive business jet left RAF Waddington on Sunday bound for its new base in Accra in Ghana, where it will be stationed while flying across northern Nigeria. However, the crew reported technical problems midway through the flight. An RAF source said: “We had a choice of turning around and coming home, or landing en route.” It was unclear last night when the jet would be able to resume its flight and travel the remaining 1,300 miles to Accra.
A social media commentator said this about the development: “Now this is the kind of help ex-colonial masters love to give their ex-slaves. Who is fooling who? What sort of help is Britain offering Nigeria? Think Nigeria Think!”
The search for Nigeria’s abducted girls has claimed the lives of three (3) gallant Nigerian soldiers. Worse than their untimely death is how the media has ignored their painful sacrifices to #Bring Back Our Girls. Here are the 3 soldiers who were killed in one week by the evil bullets of Boko Haram in their search for Chibok girls.
IN HONOUR OF FALLEN NIGERIAN TROOPS IN THE COUNTER-TERRORISM WAR
I do not care whether you are from the North or South, East or West,
I don not care if you are a Yoruba, Hausa, Ibo, Tiv, Kanuri, Ngas, Kataf or Itsekiri,
I don not care if you are Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu or even Atheist,
I do not care whether you are Izala or Darika, Catholic or Protestant,
I do not care whether you are PDP or APC or APGA or non-partisan,
I do not care whether you male or female, rich or poor, educated or not,
That you are a Nigerian gallantly obeying the last command even if for the supreme price is all I care about,
That you took up arms against the brutal gangs of terror up in arms against our State is all I care about,
That you fought in the cities and villages alike so that we your Nigerian brothers and sisters will savour peace is all I care about,
That you fought to bring back our girls is all I care about,
I can see your lifeless bodies riddled with bullets, nay batches testifying of your gallantry,
I am at ease to write this piece because you sacrificed your ease to grease my peace,
We may not have known or met personally, but I personally know that we will surely meet in the world beyond.
Adieu brave and gallant officers and men of Nigeria!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long Live the Lion Of Africa. Long Live Africa. ~First Son Of Africa.
Share this to celebrate this unsung heroes.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls would be held until all imprisoned militants had been freed.
He said the girls had converted to Islam. The video, released on Monday, showed them praying.
Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from Chibok on April 14 and threatened to sell them.
The BBC reports that Boko Haram’s comments showed signs that the group was willing to negotiate.
Three of the girls are shown speaking in the 17-minute video, obtained by French news agency AFP, wearing the full-length hijab.
Two girls said they were Christian and have converted to Islam, while the other said she is Muslim.
“These girls, these girls you occupy yourselves with… we have indeed liberated them. These girls have become Muslims,” Abubakar Shekau said in the video.
It is thought the majority of the abducted girls are Christians, although there are a number of Muslims among them.
The BBC reports the girls appeared calm and one said that they had not been harmed.
There is no indication of when or where the video was taken.
It is estimated to show about 130 girls – just under half of the 276 pupils abducted from their school in Borno State.
A statement obtained by Africa Thisday said that Netanyahu, currently on an official visit to Japan, made the proposal in a telephone call to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Israel expresses its deep shock at the crime against the girls,” it quoted the premier as saying.
“We are prepared to help in locating the girls and to fight the cruel terror which has struck you.”
Boko Haram, whose name is literally translated: “Western education is forbidden” kidnapped the girls from their dormitory on April 14, and has threatened to sell them.
The abduction caused worldwide outrage as celebrities and foreign government officials protest.
There were indications yesterday that the 230 female students abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok, Borno State, have been sited at the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, by the Special Forces of the United States Marines.
The girls who were abducted on April 14, were part of the 250 students boarded at the school for the West African School Certificate, WASC/ Senior Secondary School Certificate, SSSC, examinations, triggering world-wide condemnations.
This was even as more US military officials arrived Nigeria yesterday to join local officials in the search for nearly 300 school girls taken captives by the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the defence department, Pentagon, said.
The UK team had earlier arrived in Abuja to support Nigerian government in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry said the US team, working with the Nigerian government, would do everything possible to free the girls and everything possible to stop the atrocities of Boko Haram.
“We are also going to do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram. The entire world should not only be condemning this outrage but should be doing everything possible to help Nigeria in the days ahead,” he added.
Africa Thisday learnt that the American Military Team to Nigeria is comprised of just Seven (7) officers.
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday revealed that the masterminds of the two deadly bomb blasts that rocked Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory have been arrested and are currently helping the security agencies in their efforts to unmask their financiers.
Jonathan spoke while fielding questions from journalists at the end of the 24th World Economic Forum for Africa, WEFA, held in Abuja which ended yesterday.
Jonathan said he had declared a total war on Boko Haram ‘’terror group’’ to rout it out of existence in the country, warning that anybody thinking that the spate of bombings and other devastation activities by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria would force his administration to bend over forward and negotiate power with the sect or their sponsors should rather have a re-think as such a situation would not arise.
“Boko Haram is a terror group and as journalists you should know the meaning of terror. Before the 9/11 no body in the US or UK imagined the dimension of terrorists in the world. You can not be too sure of what ideology that drives their leaning. Sometimes, it is from the religious sentiments… but we need to combine so many factors to underscore their driving spirit . But I want to advice that the terrorists should also know that they don’t do certain things and get away with it because most of these activities are criminal offenses and they should know that when they are caught, they would pay dearly for it. ‘’For instance, I can tell you that the masterminds of the last Nyanya bomb blast have been arrested and would face the long arm of the law. I want to assure also that sooner than later, the abducted Chibok school girls would also be rescued with the help of the global community and we will use remote sensing technology to smoke them out to face the consequences,” Jonathan said.
Nigeria’s military had advanced warning of the April 14 attack by Boko Haram that led to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls but failed to take immediate action, Amnesty International said Friday.
“Damning testimonies gathered by Amnesty International reveal that Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance warnings about Boko Haram’s armed raid on the state-run boarding school in Chibok which led to the abduction,” the rights group said.
Amnesty said it had verified the information about the abduction with “credible sources”.
“Amnesty International has confirmed… that Nigeria’s military headquarters in Maiduguri was aware of the impending attack soon after 7:00 PM (1800 GMT) on 14 April, close to four hours before Boko Haram began their assault on the town,” the group said.
The military however could not assemble the troops needed to suppress the attack, “due to poor resources and a reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped” Islamists, according to Amnesty.
The 17 army personnel based in Chibok were overpowered by the attackers and had to retreat, the London-based group further said.
“The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram’s impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this horrific crime,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director for research and advocacy.