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Police, Civil Defence officers weep during street protest for rescue of abducted Chibok schoolgirls •Accuse FG, security agencies of insensitivity

By News Express on 09/05/2014

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Dozens of wailing female personnel of the police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) yesterday joined dozens of other women on the streets of Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State in North-Central Nigeria, chanting “Bring Back Our Girls” in support of the worldwide protests to free the abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State.

A report of the incident in Daily Trust has it that major roads and streets of Lafia echoed with “We Want Our Daughters, Bring Back Our Daughter,” in the protest jointly organised by Federation of Muslim Woman Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), and the women wing of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), female police and Civil Defence, who marched on with the protesters, were heard chanting and wailing alongside the protesters.

The report said that the female security operatives were led by two Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), one of whom told the reporter that as women they had a duty to the country to call for the release of the 276 girls still missing after Boko Haram insurgents abducted them from Chibok, 24 days ago.

She was quoted as saying: “We are law enforcement officers and men. See us, we are women, we are mothers. It is our daughters today, it could be we tomorrow.”

Another female police personnel reportedly broke from chanting “We Want Our Daughters, Bring Back Our Daughter,” and raised her hands up in the air in demonstration of prayers to God, saying: “Oh, God help Nigeria. Save our daughters.”

Clad in black and black attire to demonstrate the depth of their grieve, the placard-carrying protesters who converged at the Araf Specialists’ Hospital (DASH) along Shendam Road, began the march at about 7:20am. They marched on to Makurdi Road, Jos Road, UAC Road, and returned to Shendam Road in the protest that dragged on for hours, the report said, adding:

“The placards bore messages calling for the release of the schoolgirls, as they also suggested anger against the government’s slow handling of the incident to free the girls.

“The protest march returned to Shendam Road where it started. They headed to Government House, marching slowly, in what grounded traffic along the major road, stretching vehicles for several metres on both sides of the road.

“Led by the state chairpersons of FOMWAN and women CAN, Hajiya Hannatu Mohamed Kabir, and Mrs. Lydia Attah, the protesters, comprising women of all ages including teenagers and the aged, stopped at the Government gate where they were received by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hajiya Zainab Abdulmumin on behalf of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.

“Al-Makuura had travelled to Abuja for the ongoing World Economic Forum summit.

“The women offered prayers as they made recitations from both the Bible and the Quran, raiding their voices up to God for intervention.

“They accused government of turning a deaf ear to the cries of the abducted girls, which the protesters said they can hear in their grieving hearts.

“They handed a protest letter to the SSG to deliver to the governor, for onward transmission to President Goodluck Jonathan.

“No sooner had the FOMWAN leader, Hajiya Hannatu handed the letter, than women burst into wailing, with some of them accusing the federal government and security agencies for alleged insensitivity to the worldwide cries to work towards the freedom of the girls still missing.

“One woman and the other screamed uncomplimentary remarks against the federal government, constantly interrupting the proceeding of the receipt of the letter.

“The SSG thanked them for adding a voice to help in the freeing of the girls, calling on their support to the federal government during the trying time.”

•Photo, courtesy of Daily Trust, shows a cross section of the protesting police and Civil Defence officers.

Source News Express

Posted 09/05/2014 1:44:27 PM


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