Nigeria’s Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has defended the democratic right of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group to hold protests without any hindrance from the police.
According to Soyinka, no security institution in the country had the right to ban BBOG’s protests. ‘‘No security outfit has the right to ban any kind of peaceful assembly. The Inspector General of Police cannot ban #BBOG from protesting,’‘ he told local media network, Channels TV.
‘‘Why are security agencies always afraid when they see where 2 or 3 are gathered together for a good cause? We sent this children to school and they were abducted by enemies of humanity. We cannot give up on them,’‘ he charged.
Why are security agencies always afraid when they see where 2 or 3 are gathered together for a good cause?
The BBOG group maintains that they are defiant in the face of a recent face-off with police over their daily sit-outs at the Abuja fountain. The sit-outs is a daily event where activists reecho their calls for government to take action on the over 200 abducted school girls.
Their latest marches to the presidency have been blocked by police. The processions are intended to heap pressure on the Buhari-led administration to act on Boko Haram’s latest video release. BBOG labeled the video the ‘plea for rescue video.’
Boko Haram’s request from latest video
The latest video released in the middle of August shows a masked Boko Haram soldier addressing parents of the abducted girls and the Nigerian government with a dozen of the girls lined up behind him.
The soldier tasks parents of the girls to pile pressure on the federal government to release ‘their brothers’ held in prisons across the country so that they would also release the girls. One girl was allowed to address her parents and the government later in the video.
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The spokesman also admits that some of the girls have been killed as a result of air strikes by the Nigerian Air Force, others he said had been married whiles others were sick.
Buhari has recently reiterated the will of his government to negotiate the release of the girls in a prisoner swap with Boko Haram. The army however says its counter insurgency efforts will continue because any prisoner swap negotiations will be a purely political decision.