21/01/2022

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Protest in Nigeria over gov’t’s handling of kidnapping crisis

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Protesters march to condemn the government’s handling of school kidnapping crisis in Nigeria’s northwest on Thursday. The protesters in Katsina State joined the Coalition of Northern Groups, an Non-Governmental Organization, to demand accountability from government officials.

The group later held a press conference and handed a letter of demands to representative of the Katsina State Governor.

“Mr. President has failed us, Mr. President shows no sympathy over this matter, Mr. President shows no concern over this matter, Mr. President doesn’t even show humanitarian feeling, he doesn’t even have human feeling, the concept of human feeling, the God-fearing, the attitude of showing care and concern over these children”, Jamilu Aliyu Turanci, Northwest coordinator of the Coalition of Northern Groups said.

Representative of the Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Ahmed said the incident ‘’affect all of us’’. “It affects all of us, leadership is responsibility. We feel the pain, it affects all of us, they are our children”, he said.

The group have used the hashtag #BringBackOurBoysNow to pile pressure on the government to act now.

“To call for a mass and prolonged struggle: #BringBackOurBoysNow, bring back our boys now, bring back our boys now. In solidarity with the deprived parents of the Katsina students across all the northern region”, Balarabe Rufai, Chairman, Coalition of Northern Groups said.

The campaign is in reference to that of the Chibok girls in 2014. At that time, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped, sparking global indignation.

After last Friday’s abduction, two accounts by different officials have put the number of schoolboys missing at 320 or 333. A similar protest calling for the release of the boys also took place in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday.