Civil rights activists, Nollywood actors, lawyers and lawmakers, yesterday, staged a protest in Lagos calling for the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls, failing which President Goodluck Jonathan should forget next year’s elections.
At the protest were the President, Women Arise Initiative and Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin; Mr. Femi Aborishade, former General Secretary of National Conscience Party (NCP); Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Finance; Ayo Obe, Lagos based lawyer, Nollywood actor, Mr. Saheed Balogun among others.
Founder of the Nigerian Advance Party (NAP) and a delegate at the ongoing National Conference, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, who was among the protesters yesterday, said the Federal Government should forget any preparations for the 2015 general election, if it failed to rescue the Chibok girls alive.
Braithwaite made the demand at a rally organised by the Women Arise Initiative and other activist groups, held at the Event Garden, opposite Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa, to mark the 100 days of Chibok girls’ abduction.
The protesters, who were dressed in different T-shirts bearing inscriptions of the 100 days of the abduction of the girls, were armed with placards, some of which read: “Punish the criminals,” “Fish out the beasts,” “Stone age gone,” “Stop the killing,” “Chibok girls are human beings not numbers,” “Shekau: Find goods to sell, not our girls” among others.
“I want this generation to decide; it has nothing to do with Jonathan.
“You have to decide whether we are going to conduct 2015 election, while these girls are still in captivity?
“Let them begin to hear that all the preparations for 2015 election shall come to nothing unless we bring the girls back; unless we stop corruption in this nation.
“There is something about this man, President Jonathan, which I want you to take aboard. The President deserves pity, not attack.
“He is a listening man. The man who convoked the national conference, never minding what may come out of it. But good has to come out.
“If good does not come out of the national conference and if these girls are not rescued, we will not allow elections to hold in 2015,” Braithwaite said.
Also speaking at the rally, Okei Odumakin said: “No election is complete without them. Nothing really happens until they return.
“We do not make these statements as ones who seek appointments or political leverage.
“We say these as women, mothers, Nigerians who would do whatever is required of us to have the girls back.
“We want to know the policy guiding their release operations. We have heard that they would be home soon. We want to hope strongly that it was not just a political statement.” [Vanguard]