Protesters demand justice for murdered school children in Yobe

The protesters also condemned the corruption in the oil industry.

Dozens of protesters marched in Lagos, Friday, demanding justice for the murdered school pupils in North-Eastern Nigeria and the alleged missing $20 billion in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The protesters, dressed in black outfits, converged at the statue of the late educator and philanthropist, Tai Solarin, in Yaba, and chanted solidarity songs as they marched to Tejuosho market and back to Yaba bus stop.

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, who led the protest, said that they were sensitizing the public and demanding for an improvement in “governance architecture.”

“So much blood has been spilled in the last few days in unrestrained terrorist attacks and bombings that have disproportionately targeted young Nigerians in the north-eastern region of the country,” said Ms. Ibezim-Ohaeri, who heads Spaces for Change, a rights advocacy group.

Last Tuesday, at least 29 students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, were killed by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents. Though the military puts the casualty figure at 29, the victims are reported to be over 50.

The killings happened days after 20 female students were reportedly abducted from Government Girls Senior Science Secondary School and Ashigar School of Business and Administrative Studies in Borno State.

“Till this day, no one knows their whereabouts or what has happened to them,” Ms. Ibezim-Ohaeri added.

The protesters bore placards inscribed with ‘Our children are dying, our president doesn’t give a damn;’ ‘What are we celebrating?’ ‘Sack GMD of NNPC;’ ‘Money miss, pikin miss, wey them? We want justice;’ ‘Missing $20 billion, N32 trillion can create jobs, build roads, build schools, build hospitals, reduce infant mortality;’ amongst others.

Ms. Ibezim-Ohaeri said that the $20 billion oil proceeds which the NNPC has allegedly failed to remit to the federation account had further worsened the security crisis and fuelled widespread discontent among the populace.

“The startling revelations of massive irregularities entrenched in the administration of subsidies on petroleum products have been treated with objectionable condescension, executive levity and indifference to effectively investigate these claims and overturn the lack of fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency
in oil industry operations which have resulted in high levels of corruption and social inequality,” she said.

A coalition of youths under the auspices of YOUTH-VOTE2015 (YV2015) who also took part in the protest urged politicians and political parties to present a coherent program of action for integrating youth priorities in their political agenda and party ideologies, especially in the area of education, job creation and access to education.

“We are tired of hearing bland promises that no one plans to fulfil, especially as the youth continue to bear the brunt of the massive dysfunction in governance,” the group said.

Ms. Ibezim-Ohaeri urged President Goodluck Jonathan “to take every step necessary” to intensify the search for the 20 young women held captive by Boko Haram insurgents as well as ensure they are safely reunited with their families.

“We emphatically state that every minute these women are held in captivity is a minute too long,” Ms. Ibezim-Ohaeri said.

“We will continue to shout on online and offline spaces, demanding compensation for affected families; accountability and social justice, until we are assured that these innumerable tragedies befalling our nation are never repeated,” she added.


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  • Excisionist

    How to defeat Boko Haram

    It is very easy to defeat Boko Haram and their sponsors. Jonathan and the military need to act decisively.

    First of all, does anyone believe that the resurgence of deadly attacks by BH at this very time is an accident? It comes at a time when APC
    and all those who promised to make Jonathan’s term ungovernable and
    those who have their eyes on 2015 election have also stepped up their
    pressure on the president along with Boko Haram
    members in the Nigerian army. Does this not suggest that they are all
    working together in a well coordinated assault? At the same time, we see
    these wicked people laughing at and taunting Jonathan.

    The Solution.
    The president should order the troops back to a well defined defendable frontline.
    This line should be determined by the needs and wishes of the people of
    the area. Northern leaders in the North East and North West want the
    same thing as Boko Haram. They want to be
    governed, not by the constitution of Nigeria but instead by Islamic
    Sharia Law. This wish should be respected in a way that does not
    continuously endanger the lives of Nigerians.

    The frontline

    We know that not all the states where Sharia was declared are predominantly Muslim. For instance, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and Gombe states. The Tafawa Balewa parts of Bauchi as well as other predominantly Christian Local Government areas in Bauchi
    and other Sharia states in the Middle Belt are other examples. The
    military should pull back from all predominantly Muslim local
    governments in the North East and North West. They should take along
    with them all Non-Muslim families and resettle them behind the frontline. Likewise, all Muslims in the LGs
    dominated by people of other religions should be moved to predominantly
    Muslim areas northwards. All other Muslims who want to live by Sharia
    law in all other states (especially the new breed of wannabe
    fundamentalists Muslims in the South West) should be moved to the
    predominantly Muslim territory in the North East and North West Zones .

    This will result in a situation which the Nigerian
    military is trained to deal with. A situation where it is easy to
    identify and locate the enemy as against living with and protecting
    people who will slip out at odd times and go to shoot their protectors
    as well as innocent and unarmed civilians, students, Youth Corpers, farmers, women, children etc. A secure border should be established and anything moving south from that should be shot.

    This kind of population movement is not new.
    It happened in India when they were having exactly similar problem as
    Nigeria today. This is the only way to defeat Boko Haram
    and their other sponsors, one of the major sponsors having been
    suspended from his source of fund. Jonathan needs to act speedily.



  • Night Crawler

    May God put an end to BH… I hope and pray for peace in the north, God save us from people we are not watching that are watching us… Amen

  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    20 future mothers of this nation kidnapped and missing for nigh a month – possibly being used as sex slaves – and hardly a word from the same Presidency that swung boots onto the grounds in Otuoke to search for a 70-year old man for whom it is also negotiating a N500m ransom.

    Where lies our priorities – the past or the future?

  • Excisionist

    BLAME THE NSA, not Jonathan

    It is wrong to blame GEJ for the insecurity in the country, especially in the North East Zone. The national security adviser (NSA) has been mandated by the president to do all that is necessary to stop the mayhem. But is he loyal to the president or to the Northern Islamic Oligarchs? I doubt that he is loyal to the president.

    The NSA is Retired. Army Colonel Dasuki whom I suspect is working for APC and Northern Islamists in a coordinated assult to make the president seem weak. It’s all part of the program to bring the presidency back to the Islamic North. In doing this they are willing to sacrifice the blood of innocent civilians, including innocent school children while their own children are safe abroad.
    How long will ordinary northerners stand this evil

    It is time to change the totaly inept and compromised NSA Col. Dasuki. For his replacement the president may consider Great Ogboru, Colonel Anthony Nyiam (rtd) or Prof. Saliba Mukoro.