Scores of Nigerian women, dressed in black attire, yesterday took to the streets to protest against the gruesome killing of over 50 school children in Yobe State and and other attacks on residents of the North-east by the Boko Haram sect.
LEADERSHIP Friday learnt that the protest took place simultaneously in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja, with the women expressing displeasure over the mind-boggling killings.
In Abuja, the women embarked on a peaceful walk, carrying placards with various inscriptions, including ‘Too Many Painful Tears’, ‘Enough of the Killings’, ‘The Blood of the Innocent Shall Avenge their Killers’ and ‘Nigerian Women Mourn’.
They took off from the Unity Fountains and marched to the Nigeria Human Rights Commission (NHRC) where they were received and addressed by the deputy director, Legal Office of the executive secretary, Harry Ogwuche Obe.
Obe told them that the challenges being faced in the country as a result of insurgency were no ordinary happenings and would require an extraordinary approach to tackle.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Ijeoma Izuora explained that the march was taking place all over Nigeria, as well as other major cities of the world, to anger at the happenings in the North-east.
“We are wasting a generation of our children. This could have been me when I was in FGC, or any of us could have been victims. These senseless killings must stop,” she stated.
“Is Boko Haram bigger than the government? Does the government not know what to do? If our husbands and children are all killed, what happens to us?” she asked.
In Lagos, the women chanted mournful songs in memory of the students who were killed when the assailants invaded their school at night.
The president of Women Arise Initiative, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, one of the conveners of the protest, said the women were tired of the killings, and called for more action to halt the trend, saying, “This debilitating act must stop.”
In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the angry protesters were led by members of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and former commissioners for women affairs in the state.
The immediate past commissioner for women affairs in Rivers State, Mrs Emmanuella Izunwa, said the protest march was to send a message that Nigerian women are not happy with what is happening in the North-east.
She said: “People of Nigerian should cohabit as nationals. We need to live like a family in this country.”
Also in the United Kingdom, protesters marched through the streets to protest against the wanton killings by the sect.
adding that the walk is to send message across that women are not happy with what is happening.”
he group marched from NHCR to the Federal Ministry of Justice where they were addressed by the director, Legal Drafting, Hamza A. Tahir, who said that the ministry identifies with their cause.
“Anyone you see has a mother. What is happening in the north-east is worrisome to all. We will make sure that the gruesome murders are stopped. I urge you to continue to identify with the government and the cause of the children,” he said.
He assured that their message would be conveyed to the attorney-general, for onward transmission to President Goodluck Jonathan.
LEADERSHIP observed that some of the placards they were carrying had inscriptions: ‘Nigerian Women Mourn’, ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’, among others. (LEADERSHIP)