By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Nigerian women have called for the release of of the 112 Chibok girls still in the captivity of the Boko Haram insurgence. They also called for the release of the only Dapchi girl, Leah Sharibu among others.
The women known for championing the #BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, in a statement signed by the BBOG, Lagos Family, made available to WO as it marked the 5th anniversary on Sunday, April 14, of the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
In an exclusive interview with WO, the women lamented that the abduction of the girls was long overdue saying that government should ensure release of the remaining abducted girls.
A legal practitioner, Ayo Obe who is one of the #BBOG Lagos family, frowned that, the release of the abducted Chibokgirls is taking so long.Adding that government should bring back all the captives of Boko Haram.
On her part, Aisha Mohammad Oyebode, a human rights activist explained that, “112 Chibokgirls are still with the Boko Haram which is more than half of the abducted girls that have been released. 107 girls have been released through negotiable, 54 of them in 2015 while 83 girls were release in 2017 and that is situation in terms of the number.
“We will continue to retain this in the conscious of the people. If you recall, Leah Sharibu, the only girl from Dapchi is still in captivity among others. So, what we are doing is to bring to the world and Nigeria’s consciousness that we still have hundreds of women and girls still in the net of Boko Haram. We must be put it in the political agenda not just national but internationally.
“Until, the last girl is released and accounted for, there must always be hope. We have heard series of reports that we have lost some of the girls but they must be accounted for, it is important.
“The questions posed on the international communities on ensuring the safety of women and girls and ensuring that there is no repeat of kidnap of women and girls henceforth is germane. And I believe there are international laws and rules that challenge this kind of mass astrocity and there is responsibility to protect the women and girls as well as declaration of human right and laws to protect and prevent this kind of situation but the issue now is about implementation.
“We must continue to ask ourselves, how we intend to implement the laws, how do we make it everybody’s responsibility, not just in Nigeria but to ensure this does not happen again. These are the things we are asking for.
“What we are saying specifically is that the issue of women and gender balances must be on the table. It has be to one of the issues to be discussed. Other issue we have been talking about apart from the kidnap of women and girls is the use of women and girls as suicide bombers.
“Women and girls have been used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram. And also the issue of gender balance. Every discussion and negotiation must be about what we are doing about gender balance,it is important”, she said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Lagos Trade Fair International Complex, Mrs. Lucy Omosefe-Ajayi, said, “My prayer is that they should be released but I believe President Mohmmadu Buhari is doing everything humanely possible to bring back the girls that are in Boko Haram captivity. They are our girls and children and we are not happy with what is happening to them but I believe that they will be released.
“I also used my birthday which was April 15, to pray for the release of the Chibok girls as well as Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl and other women and girls that have been in captivity of Boko Haram insurgence”, she said.