BBOG

Chiemelie Ezeobi
To commemorate two years of the continued disappearance of 219 Chibok girls after their abduction from their school in Borno State, the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group has commenced a week of global actions.

The week with the theme: ‘#HopeEndures’, which began on April 8, 2016, will end on April 14, 2016, which was the exact day the girls were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

The statement from the group, which has been the chief campaigner for the release of the girls, lamented that it would soon be exactly two years since the girls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists.
The group also said the week was to mark the “unfortunate incidence and to refocus the wor
ld’s attention to the fact that 276 schoolgirls were abducted in their school, 57 escaped, 219 remain missing till date, with 17 of their parents losing their lives as a result of the trauma.

“We urge persons wherever they may be to carry out activities to commemorate this event. There are activities already lined up in many cities of the world, we encourage everyone to participate and/or organise one, however simple.”

The week, which began on April 8, started with special prayers at Jumat service and ASR prayers at Unity Fountain, also had talks by Islamic scholars.

On April 9, the group had a virtual meeting with an online engagement that was more of a ‘tweet meet’ and the next day, April 10, was the Christian prayers and talks.

monday, April 11, the group hosted a workshop on ‘endangered education’ at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
While the keynote Speaker was Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, the opening address was read by BBOG Co-convener, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili.

The workshop, which focused on the Nigerian girl-child, was a parley for high level discussion on issues affecting the Nigerian girl-child.

It also afforded them the opportunity to remember and honour students and teachers killed by Boko Haram insurgents and launching of the ‘Initiative for Day of the Nigerian child’.

Today, April 12, the group will visit the United Nations and six embassies including the United States of America, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Israel.

On Wednesday, April 13, the group will have a walkathon, red ribbon day and evening of arts, which is basically event to member the Chibok girls led by the Chibok Girls Ambassadors.
After the walk to the presidency at Presidential Villa, the group will have a world press conference, where they will highlight their struggles and the next line of action.

However, beyond the week of global action, a visit to the group’s website revealed their demands to the federal government as, “That the 219 Chibok schoolgirls abducted on April 14, 2014 be rescued by the government.
“Improvement of government’s accountability to Nigerians on security issues, particularly in the North-east.
“How? Through improved communications on Nigerian security happenings with daily briefings on the rescue of the abducted girls.

“Creating communication channels that help inform the public on safety measures being taken to protect Nigerian citizens.
“Prosecution of rehabilitation services, such as counseling and healthcare, as well as witness protection, to all abducted girls who have escaped or been rescued.

“Taking measures to ensure the protection of children of school age to curb future abductions and sexual violence.
“Passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill (VAPP Bill) that protects girls to ensure persecution of those responsible for sexual violence once captured.”