OAU women join Bring-back-our-girls campaign
Women in the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife have held a rally to lend their voices to the on-going #BringBackOurGirls protest. Over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in a school in Chibok, Borno State.
Decked in white and red clothes, the women, who were numbering about 100, converged on the campus Motion Ground. They later moved round the campus to express their displeasure over the abduction.
The rally, which was led by the Director of the Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, Prof Funmi Soetan, had the women carried placards with inscriptions, such as “#BringBackOurGirls Now!”, “Our Staff and Students Condemn the Abduction of Chibok girls”, “If it can happen to the Chibok girls, then no one is safe”, “Real men don’t buy girls”, “I am a parent and I condemn the abduction” among others.
Addressing protesters, Prof Soetan said the rally was held to support the national and international efforts to free the abduction of these future female leaders.
She said the centre was outraged by the grievous crimes perpetrated by the insurgents, saying the abduction of the Chibok school girls irked them, as women.
“We are concerned about the plight of these young girls who have not committed any crime to deserve this treatment meted to them by the Boko Haram sect. They have gone to school so that they could be liberated and in the process got punished for what they knew nothing about. It could be my child, it could be yours. Let’s join hands against insecurity in Nigeria,” said.
She appealed to security forces and well-meaning Nigerians to provide information as to the whereabouts of the missing girls.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Lateefah Durosinmi, said the protest was to solidarise and show empathy for the parents and families of the abducted girls. “We don’t know what they’ve been eating or what they’ve done to them. Anybody that has information on how to get these young girls should not hesitate to provide it.”
The University Librarian, Mrs Bukky Asubiojo, said her mind had not been at rest since the girls were abducted months ago. She said: “We are lending our voice to the national outcry. These girls have been missing for too long. This is the time to stop all these. The Boko Haram insurgency is assuming higher dimension on daily basis. If we fail to lend our voices and do nothing because it’s happening in the North, how are we sure it wouldn’t get here?”
ASUU Chairman at the institution, Dr Caleb Aborisade, who was part of the protest, said the union was against the abduction of the girls. He advised President Goodluck Jonathan to resign if he is not capable of handling the crisis.
A Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Mrs Damilola Agbalajobi, an activist, believed strongly that females should be educated and nothing should be allowed to truncate their dreams.
She said there was need for re-orientation of the women folk, adding that there was a lot to be done to tackle the problem of insecurity.
The Director, Corporate Services, Mrs Peju Oyebisi, said the missing girls may never recover from the shock of the incidence.
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