#BringBackOurGirls Protesters Stopped from Entering Aso Rock, Says Jonathan Failed to Address Issues
The #BringBackOurGirls Protesters on Thursday took their protest to the seat of power- the presidential villa to call for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.
The protest they said is intended to maintain pressure on the president to secure the girls’ safe release.
The protesters began gathering at the Unity Fountain in Abuja at about 2.30pm, from where they marched through the streets of the Federal Capital with the intention of entering the Presidential Villa. They were however stopped by a barricade of heavily armed anti-riot policemen at the entrance of the villa until a delegation of ministers arrived to attend to the protesters.
Present to attend to the protesters were the Minister of State FCT. Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs Sarah Jubril and a host of other minister.
Delivering the message of the President, FCT minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide thanked Olajumoke Akinjide, commended the protesters for conducting themselves “properly”.
Reading from a prepared speech, Akinjide said “The world is under the grip of terrorism,” insisting that “the government took action the first day” the girls were abducted.
She added that there are promising times ahead for cross-border control of the movement of terrorists, as Niger Republic, Cameroon, and Nigeria have agreed to establish a single centre for information-sharing.
“There has been no slow response to the rescue of the girls, therefore, the protest should not be directed to the president but the terrorists, Akinjide Said.
Terrorism, she argues, is a global problem; and Nigerians should learn to respond to it the way others do: “When a bomb goes off in Iraq, the people do not blame the government.”
Responding, former World Bank Vice President who is the leader of the #BringBackOurGirls Protest, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili expressed disappointment with the president’s message and asked the representative to inform the president that the response is inadequate.
Tell Mr. President that the answers we have received are inadequate, we are not a group that you shld be telling about citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. Oby said.
While asking that Mr. President be told that none of the issues raised by the protesters have been addressed, Oby said: “We demand another meeting with Mr. President. Please let Mr. President know that he also missed a colossal opportunity to address his citizens on a crucial issue.” “We want to have the discussion with the president as soon as possible,” she adds.
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