The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria’s (ACPN) presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Oby Ezekwesili, on Sunday at a forum in India spoke on the plight of the remaining Chibok girls and the need to promote girl-child rights.
Mrs Ezekwesili, co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, was nominated for the Mother Teresa Awards 2018 alongside many women rights advocates from all over the world.
According to the organisers, among those nominated for this year’s edition were Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Laureate 2003), Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Laureate 2011), Rula Ghani (First Lady of Afghanistan), Yeonmi Park (North Korean refugee), Nadia Murad (Nobel Laureate, Yazidi Refugee & UN Goodwill Ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking).
The former director general of chief minister’s strategic Reform Unit (SRU), Salman Sufi, won this year’s edition of the award.
The ex-minister on her Twitter handle said she spoke on the plight of missing Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents.
She said; “I am a voice to the 219 young women who were taking away by terrorists when they went to school. I have been a champion for them even up till date, until all of them are rescued. We already have 107 that came back and 112 of them are still with the terrorists.”
Mrs Ezekwesili reportedly lamented the neglect faced by the female gender and “gender subjugation all over the world”.
“It is against social justice for us to look away and to ignore the cries of women in any way. It is against social justice to pretend as if things are not wrong around us.
“Let’s have it at the back of our minds saying I will diminish, if I diminish a girl-child. I’ll be disempowered if I disempower a girl-child. That’s at the level of individuals,” she admonished.
Hammering on gender equality, Mrs Ezekwesili highlighted that both females and males should be given equal opportunity towards being successful.
“We go to the level of policy then to the level of legislation, community and the nation at large.
Women and boys should be allowed to thrive in equal opportunity and in the way to go.”
The memorial award dedicated to the late Mother Teresa, a philanthropist and humanitarian, and is bestowed as an honour to individuals or organisations who aim to promote peace, harmony and social justice.
There are ongoing campaigns to ensure the freedom of Leah Sharibu, the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl who was kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe State in 2017.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how international organisations, non-governmental organisations and individuals have been campaigning vigorously to ensure her release, despite threats from the insurgents that they will keep Miss Sharibu a perpetual slave.