We’ll Never Abandon Abducted Chibok Schoolgirls – Brown

Gordon-BrownFormer British Prime Minister now United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, Friday, called for global support for the kidnapped schoolgirls of Chibok, Nigeria, on 22 July, which will be the 100th day of their captivity.

“We, of course, hope that the Chibok girls will be released before July 22”, Mr. Brown, who will begin his new term as special envoy this month, said, according to a press release from his office.

“However, by marking the 100th day of the abduction of the girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists, and by pledging never to abandon them, we are reminding people that we are in the mind-set of a global civil rights struggle”, Mr. Brown added.

Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014 abducted more than 200 girls from their school in Chibok in Borno State and despite efforts by the Nigerian Government, which has received international support and global attention, the fate of the schoolgirls remain unknown.

“Girls’ rights should be taken seriously and they should have the right to be at school free of intimidation and violence. We will mark the 100 days by pledging to rebuild their Chibok school and by calling for international support for safe school across Nigeria”, the former British Prime Minister stated.

According to the statement, vigils would be staged at the same time in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States under the banner #BringBackOurGirls.

Mr. Brown is calling on civil society and youth organisations to come together in solidarity with the school girls and to send letters of support.

Similarly, an online petition (http://www.aworldatschool.org/page/s/100daysBBOG) calling for the safe return of the girls and all messages of solidarity will be passed to Chibok community, leaders and families of the abducted girls.

Mr. Brown will also send the petition to President Goodluck Jonathan and UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

The Chibok girls’ families are expected to sign the petition and offer their full support for the Safe Schools Initative – a fund set up to pilot 500 safe schools in northern Nigeria. The programme brings the Nigerian Government and Nigerian business leaders together with the international community to ensure that all children learn in an environment that is secured.