Chibok girls: protesters denied access to Aso Villa

Parents of abducted Chibok girls and members of the #BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, advocacy group led by its key leader Dr. Oby Ezekwesili left the Presidential Villa, Abuja, disappointed, yesterday, after policemen prevented them from accessing routes leading to the villa by using strategic human shield in barricading the road network.

The group had embarked on a peaceful protest to the villa to secure the assurance of the government on the release of the girls.

the human shield of the police used in fending off BBOG protesters from gaining access to the villa.
The human shield of the police used in fending off BBOG protesters from gaining access to the villa.

The parents and #BBOG members had, as part of its Global Week of Action to commemorate the second year anniversary of kidnap of the school girls, sought to access the Presidency to rub minds with state officials on the way forward, especially as the President is on a state visit to China.

However, the police built a human shield just meters away from the gate of the villa to deny the peaceful protesters entry.

A Divisional Police Office, DPO, Grace Lunge, who led the operation, said the group was prevented from heading to the Villa due to security concerns, insisting that the area which the group was stopped fell within the precincts of the presidential villa.

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However, former Minister of Education and one of the key leaders of the group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, said the barricading of the area was inappropriate as the group was a civil organisation which wanted to get close to the seat of power to read its statement. She regretted that the police acted as though the nation was still under a military junta.

Chairperson of the strategic team of the group, Aisha Yesufu, said that with the strong promises made by President Muhammedu Buhari on the rescue of the girls, the group had thought that by now, there would have been a positive outcome regarding their rescue.

“It is for this reason that parents of Chibok girls, their community and our movement were devastated by the feedback received from the President, seven months into this administration.

“We are puzzled at the fact that the President in our meeting of January 14, 2016, inferred that our Chibok girls were not yet rescued because the government lacked credible intelligence on the whereabouts of the girls,” she said.

Yesufu, who stated that Nigeria and the world had failed the 219 Chibok schoolgirls by not rescuing them from the clutches of the Boko Haram sect, even after two years in captivity, however, said the group’s hope and that of the parents of the abducted girls was renewed following the recent release of “proof of life video” of some of the abducted girls who were identified by their parents.

According to her, this, for the group, is a good lead in getting the location of the girls.

“It is for these reasons that our movement will not stop reminding our President and the federal government of their constitutional mandate and his personal pledge to rescue our Chibok girls. For 716 days, we have advocated relentlessly and shall continue until our girls are rescued,” she said.

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Arinze Esomnofu is a Content writer with He is not only talented but also passionate about writing and reporting as he has had some of his op-ed article featured in top Nigerian Online and Traditional media houses. He is also a freethinker on religious matters.

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