#Day1000 Global Week of Action 8 – 14 January 2017
3 January 2017
On Sunday 8 January 2017, it will be #Day1000 since 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted in their school by terrorists on the night of 14 April 2014. A total of 57 escaped within days of the abduction, 219 were taken into captivity. In 2016, 2 escaped at various times and 21 returned. Presently, 196 Chibok girls remain missing today for 995 days. This Sunday 8 January, will be their 1000th day in captivity, in the hands of terrorists.
Ten weeks ago when the 21 Chibok girls returned, the Nigerian government said they were having discussions and that “soon” 83 more would return. Nothing has been said of them since then. The title of our #Day500 statement which was as far back as 27 August 2015 was “500 days is too long”. It is most unfortunate that another 500 days on, we are still on the same matter with more than 89 % of the abducted girls still left by the Government of Nigeria with terrorists.
It would be recalled that in August – September 2016, when there was unnerving quiet by the Federal Government in the wake of the release of our Chibok Girls’ “Plea-for-Rescue” video, our Movement engaged in a series of activities to compel necessary action and communication. Our mantra was
No More Excuses!
No More Delays!
Act Now!!! We want Results.”
We conveyed in as strong a manner as possible at that time, that 900 days was too long a time for the appropriate decision for choice of rescue of our girls to have been taken by the President and his government. Our heightened advocacy which was a 72-hourly march to the Presidential Villa Gate was orchestrated to compel that mandatory decision and the action that should follow. We suffered threats and assaults in the hands of Nigeria Police Force and other functionaries of Government but remained undeterred with our marches.
Finally, the Federal Government in response to our unrelenting advocacy deigned to release for the first time ever to the public, through the Minister of Information, what it termed a comprehensive report of its rescue efforts. Whatever necessary decision and actions that the Federal Government took during that period is what finally resulted in the release of 21 of our ChibokGirls on 13 October 2016.
Our Movement is justifiably worried that the Nigerian government has once again relapsed to the same complacency, lethargy, and inertia that has been recurrent on this tragedy. What else explains the fact that despite all assurances that another 83 of our Chibok girls were under negotiation for release “soonest” there has been no further communication on the status of their release? We are doubly disappointed that the Federal Government contradicted itself by the recent declaration and celebration of capture of Sambisa Forest as the end of the war. This action is contrary to the pledge that the President and the Military made repeatedly on several occasions that they would not declare victory without the rescue of our Chibok girls and all other abducted victims of terrorist abduction.
With no additional rescue of any of our Chibok girls since 13 October 2016, what conclusion should parents, the Chibok community, our Movement, the Nigerian public, and the world at large draw from the fact that our President and Military are celebrating “the capture of Sambisa ‘Camp Zero'”, the same stronghold in which it stated the girls were held and the 21 released were released from in October?
Painfully, we are only a few days away from #Day1000 of their tragic abduction with no communication nor clarification nor status report on the negotiation the Federal Government previously stated was on-going for the release of the remaining 196 girls still with terrorists. Our Movement is therefore again constrained to resume our marches to mark the #DAY1000 tragic milestone. Our Movement expects that the President to regard the #Day1000 milestone as an over due time to bring this horrific saga to a final closure. We shall therefore carry out a series of activities for a period of one week, using our 24-hourly marches to compel our Federal Government to accelerate the decision and actions necessary to bring back the rest of our Chibok girls to their grossly disappointed parents.
Unlike our other Global Weeks of Action carried out over the last thirty two months of our advocacy the #Day1000 version in Abuja shall be themed along various issues related to our #ChibokGirls. However, it shall principally be powered by a 24-hourly march to the entrance of the State House. What this means is that we shall relocate our daily sit-out venue from the Unity Fountain to the State House for the Global Week of Action starting from Sunday 8th of January to Saturday 14th January, 2017. We shall gather to commence our marches on Sunday the 8th at 3pm at the Unity Fountain and proceed to our designated destination. With effect from Monday until Saturday being 14 January, we shall daily gather at 9am at the Unity Fountain to proceed on our marches to the Villa Gate.
Following are the daily themes of our marches:
*Sunday 8 January:
#ChibokGirls – #Day1000
*Monday 9 January:
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – our Chibok girls are themselves IDPs (or refugees) as captives wherever they may be. The condition of IDPs in the Northeast is a humanitarian tragedy of immense proportion. The action necessary is too slow in coming from our Government. This has to change.
*Tuesday 10 January:
Military welfare – our Nigerian troops at the frontlines of the counterinsurgency deserve better. Videos have emerged where they have been seen scrambling for basic supplies like water. They allege that many are still ill-equipped and that some do not have proper clothing for the harsh weather, arms and ammunition. Some have been unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment for mutiny/treason for declining to fight without arms.
*Wednesday 11 January:
Corruption/Poor governance: There is corruption and poor governance in all sectors of our society including in the judiciary. The situation of the IDPs and our troops is a manifestation of this cancer. Corruption and poor governance created the enabling context for our girls to be abducted. The same cancer of corruption is a key reason why they remain in captivity 1,000 days after. The recent revelation about the N500million budgeted for the rebuilding of the Government Secondary School Chibok speaks to the depth of the corruption menace. Much more effective action is necessary from our Federal Government to stem the scourge.
*Thursday 12 January:
Endangered Education – Our Chibok girls were abducted in their school. Their only ‘crime’ was seeking an education (despite all the odds). Education- especially girls education- is clearly under attack in Nigeria. We must unite to counter this and ensure that our children are safe and feel safe to be in school.
*Friday 13 January:
Girl-child vulnerability – Our Chibok girls represent the horrors of the violence that a girl-child is exposed to, and many times undergoes. Another recent example is that of Habiba Ishiaku, abducted and forcefully “married” at age 14 without her parents’ knowledge, and ‘converted’ to another religion, all these done by the authority of the Emir of Katsina and the Katsina Emirate Council with the full knowledge and support of the Nigerian state.
*Saturday 14 January:
Insecurity: In Zamfara, Zaria, Jos, Enugu, Agatu, Southern Kaduna, etc, killings have taken place and are continually going on with entire communities wiped out, with no consequences and no end in view. All lives matter. All lives are precious. No human being is more human than other humans, and no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any other Nigeria. We insist that our Federal Government must take every action necessary to restore dignity to EVERY Nigerian life.
All the above themes and focuses have connections with and are relevant to our Chibok girls and the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy. As is our culture we shall as usual follow the laid down procedure in notifying the police of our activities to enable them to do their constitutional role of facilitating our activities.
Kindly join us, and/or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
MR PRESIDENT, NO MORE EXCUSES!
MR PRESIDENT, NO MORE DELAYS!!
MR PRESIDENT, DECIDE NOW!!!
MR PRESIDENT, ACT NOW WE WANT MORE RESULTS!!!!
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls