As the world demands the rescue and safe return of over 276 female students who were abducted from their school in Nigeria, in collaboration with the #BringBackOurGirls Global Coalition, #BringBackOurGirls NYC, community leaders and concerned city citizens, Ruth Evon Idahosa co-organized a rally outside the United Nations to continue to raise awareness “on what can only be termed an atrocity of epic proportions.”
The group, which included the Revs. Cheryl Anthony and Herbert Daughtry, gathered for a peaceful rally on Monday, June 16, the International Day of the African Child, at Ralph Bunche Park, located across from the United Nations. Their call was to petition the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the Nigerian government and its armed forces and the international community to take additional action to #BringBackOurGirls.
Said Idahosa, “We also call on the Nigerian government to keep Nigerian girls safe in their respective schools across the country.”
On April 14, armed militants from the insurgent Islamist group Boko Haram stormed female school dormitories in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria. The militants forcefully abducted almost 300 young female students, “carting them off like cattle in the middle of the night, stole supplies and burned the school to the ground,” said Idahosa. “Since the April 14 abduction, additional girls have been abducted in Borno State, and Boko Haram has brazenly declared its intent to sell the girls and/or to treat them as sex slaves if its demands are not met.
“One of the most unfortunate results of the recent abductions is the paralyzing effect it has had on countless other female students in Nigeria, who are afraid to return to school for fear of suffering a similar fate,” said Idahosa.
Advocates fighting for the teenage girls state that almost two months after the Chibok abductions, additional concerns have been raised about the fate of many of the abducted female students who were forcefully separated from their families and communities. Although the Nigerian government informed its citizens and the world around May 26 that it knows the location of the girls, most of them remain in captivity and no additional information has been forthcoming.
Rallies were staged worldwide in acknowledgement of the International Day of the African Child, and in an effort to stand in solidarity with the missing girls, #BringBackOurGirls NYC asked all attendees to wear red as a symbol of the bloodshed and abduction of children throughout the northern region of Nigeria.
“We will continue to rally to bring attention to this matter until our girls are brought back and reunited with their families,” concluded Idahosa.
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