Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Protesters mark 6 months since schoolgirls' kidnap

14 October 2014, 06:59

Abuja - Protesters calling for the release of 21 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants were set on Tuesday to mark the six-month anniversary of their abduction with a march on the presidency.

Members of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign were planning to walk to President Goodluck Jonathan's official residence in Abuja to keep up the pressure on the government to bring the missing teenagers home.

The march is the culmination of a series of events in the past week, including a candlelit vigil, to keep the fate of the girls in the public eye, as media coverage and on-line interest wanes.

An elder in Chibok from where the girls were abducted.

The daughter and niece of Enoch Mark, an elder in Chibok from where the girls were abducted, are aong those mission.

Also Read: Call for Global Week to rescue missing Chibok girls

"At one point we contemplated holding funeral rites for the girls as our tradition provides," he told AFP.

Parents have run the gamut of emotions in the last six months, from initial hope to despair and back again, he added.

"But the discovery of a girl last month... who was kidnapped by Boko Haram in January gave us renewed hope that our girls would be found.

"If this girl could regain freedom after nine months in captivity all hope is not lost that our daughters would one day be free.

Also Read: Parents mulling funerals for kidnapped girls: Brown

"This has rekindled our hope and strengthened our patience. We are ready to wait six years on hoping to have our daughters back with us."

Some 276 girls were seized from their dormitories at the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, on the night of April 14.

Fifty-seven managed to escape and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau later threatened to sell the remainder as slave brides, vowing they would not be released until militant prisoners were freed from jail.

In late May, Nigeria's most senior military officer, Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh, said the girls had been located but ruled out a rescue because of the danger to the girls' lives.

Since then, nothing has been seen or heard from the girls while back channel talks with militant leaders have stalled.

Campaigns still running 

The girls' initial weeks in captivity sparked a frenzy of media coverage and interest on-line, where the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls trended on Twitter and was retweeted the world over.

Bring Back Our Girls campaigners have since held regular marches in Abuja, even as global attention shifted elsewhere and foreign missions involved in the search grew frustrated at the lack of progress.

"Globally, the movement has definitely slowed down," acknowledged Molade Alawode, of the Washington-based non-profit organisation Act4Accountability, which spearheaded protests in the US capital to highlight the girls' plight.

Also Read: Michelle Obama tribute to local schoolgirls

But she said efforts were continuing, including providing relief supplies for the tens of thousands of people displaced by the conflict in Nigeria's far northeast.

An online petition on change.org launched earlier this year by Ify Elueze, a Nigerian student in Germany, has drawn more than one million signatures, with more names being added every day, many of them from the United States.

In Los Angeles, documentary filmmaker Ramaa Mosley keeps a running total of the number of days the girls have been held on her social media accounts, taking inspiration from the Nigerian protesters still on the streets.

"Of course, since there is less information to print, there is less of a focus in the news but my experience is that individuals that first came forwarded to organise events and rallies have held strong and continued to support the cause," she said.

"Our followers on Facebook want to help and continue to take actions both big and small to keep the girl's plight in the minds and hearts of their community.

"My feeling is, the pain of this travesty is so big and there are so much other painful world news but there are many, many who have not stopped working daily on behalf of the Chibok girls.

"We will continue until they are home safely."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...