By Ikechukwu Asiegbu
Dozens of Nigerians gathered Tuesday in central Plaza de la Merced, Málaga to demand the release of more than 200 girls abducted on April 14, 2014 by an Islamic radical group, Boko Haram, and showed their rejection of terrorism.
“What we want is for our girls to come back, please. Nigeria is not a country of violence. I am a mother, and if anyone takes my daughter, takes my life, “cried the young Nigerian Evelyn, unable to hold back the tears in front of a large banner that read in English and Spanish “Bring back our girls. Devolved a nuestras niñas”.
At a demonstration of two hours with Spaniards and other nationalities, the president of the Nigerian Women Association, Málaga, Christiana Nwokeji, intervened to say “no to totalitarianism” and calls for the release of the kidnapped girls, and respect for their human rights.
Attendees with red shirts and some with babies in their arms, carried signs reading “Bring back our girls”, “Nigerian women in Spain are worried” or ” Real men do not buy sex”, chanted songs like “Solidarity forever, we must always fight for our rights”, showing their revulsion to a kidnap that keeps you wondering about many families which has caused a major international response.
“No place for Boko Haram in the 21st century. They do not belong to Nigeria,” said the secretary of the Nigerian Community in Málaga, Edmund Okeke, who insisted that “all Nigerians, Christians and Muslims are united”, and are against the radical Islamic group, who are acting “for their own selfish interests.”
This Islamist sect, whose name is Boko Haram, meaning Western education is sin, has threatened to sell the girls unless the Nigerian government release their fellow militants who have been imprisoned.
Afaf, dressed in an azure veil, expressed solidarity with Nigerians and made it clear that Boko Haram “is not Islam.” As a practicing Muslim, she says that those who committed this act “are wild” and acknowledged that “it hurts her” when she heard of the kidnapping of these school girls.
“We Muslims greet with the word ‘salaam’ which means peace,” said Afaf excited, a mother of three with Spanish nationality.
Also present at the demonstration are several female members of the feminist platform Violet Marea of Málaga who considers the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls as a “violation of the right to education.”
A Nigerian, Ikechukwu Asiegbu, the Chief Editor of the African news-magazine – Vozafric in Málaga, in his speech defended the right to education, and the girls should have the freedom to choose who they wish to marry at the right time.”
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