Rather than back off, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group is working to increase the pressure it has been mounting on the Federal Government.
BBOG, in partnership with international friends, will hand Buhari a letter at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City.
A notice it sent to its supporters and journalists reads: “On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly commences in New York. World leaders, including Nigeria’s President Buhari, will be there to discuss various issues plaguing our world, including the global refugee crisis.
“If you are in New York, please join global citizens, as we stand in solidarity with 218 #ChibokGirls and thousands more still in Boko Haram captivity on Wednesday, September 14, at 3 p.m., to deliver a letter to President Buhari, to remind him of his campaign promise to #BringBackOurGirls, who have now been in captivity for 882 days.
“Join us as we remind the United Nations and the world that the #ChibokGirls are never to be forgotten. #HopeEndures. Gathering Time: 3 p.m., Location: 828 Second Avenue (2nd and 44th), New York, New York 10017, PLEASE, WEAR RED!”
The group has repeatedly stressed the need for the government to quicken action on the release of 218 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram more than two years ago.In recent times, protests by the group to the Presidential Villa have met resistance from security operatives. The latest incident brought BBOG in confrontation with I Stand With Buhari, a pro-government group.
Meanwhile, Opinion Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, wants the UN to prevail on Buhari to halt alleged human rights violations in the country.In a statement yesterday by its president, Jeff Okoroafor, the group said rights violations under the Buhari administration had escalated due to the president’s inaction.
The organisation cited alleged killings by security agencies of hundreds of persons during the 2015 Rivers State election; the December 12, 2015 clash between the Nigerian Army and Shiites’ group in Zaria, Kaduna State, which left dozens dead; continued detention of pro-Biafra agitator, Nnamdi Kalu, despite meeting bail obligations; and alleged massacre of pro-Biafra activists, among others.
Last week, BBOG protesters including Chibok indigenes displaying photographs of the schoolgirls, and co-convener, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, were stopped by a security cordon at the Presidential Villa. A stone’s throw away, however, the pro-Buhari group marched undisturbed.
Speaking for the pro-Buhari group, one Amina Mohammed, said they were at the Villa to support the President. “We didn’t know the BBOG members are protesting today. We just wanted to drum support for the president. I wasn’t sponsored to join this protest; nobody can sponsor me; I am doing it from my heart. All I want is peace.”
Ezekwesili said: “We want to make sure that as citizens, we will continue to give the president no rest until he does what he pledged. He pledged he would not consider himself as having defeated Boko Haram without rescuing our Chibok girls and all other abducted citizens.”