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Bring Back Our Girls: Statement by the Pan African Institute for Development

Monday 26 May 2014, by siawi3

2014-05-21, Issue 679

Source: http://pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/91836

The Pan African Institute calls on Boko Haram to release unharmed the abducted girls or face the consequences of their barbaric actions.

The Pan African Institute for Development is horrified and saddened by the abduction of school going girls in Nigeria. We are even more saddened by the reaction of the Federal Government of Nigeria. News coming out of Nigeria indicates that the Nigerian security forces could have done more to protect innocent girls and boys from the predatory activities of Boko Haram, and all those who would want o harm Africa’s future. It is even more worrying that as Africa celebrates Nigeria’s riser as an economic super power, it is unable to deal with issues of human and physical security, unable to protect the weak, and unable to secure its borders.

The Pan African institute believes that Boko Haram is a predatory, extremely brutal and sadistic gang not worthy of the name of a movement; it has no political agenda worthy of negotiations. It has proven that it is only interested in bloodshed and not in political change agenda. It has none.

It is time for West African leaders, and the Africa Union to step up and mobilise resources – military economic and whatever, to cut off the support for Boko Haram. Boko Haram, and its sister organisation, Al Shabab is so destructive that only a frontal assault, like the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) did in Somalia, and cut off the tails of these deadly scorpions.

We congratulate President John Mahama of Ghana, current chair of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAD), for showing leadership and for being resolute in the face of terrorism in West Africa. We need to see similar leadership posture from President Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria. He attitude has been lacklustre and insensitive in the midst of a national crisis. We equally salute the women and men of Nigeria, and the world over for their resolute campaign – BRING OUR GIRLS BACK. We equally salute the whole world for the solidarity, for their support for their concern for the daughters of Africa.

The message to Boko Haram, and all those who support them must be clear. The abduction of the girls is a crime against humanity. It is a crime under the Children’s Act, and a crime against African values. They cannot expect mercy from anyone.

We also caution against those who would seek top exploit the predicament of these daughters of Africa to start covet wars in Africa. Our agenda must be focused on the release of these young daughters and future leaders of Africa. The West must be aware that as opportunistic as they are, we are watching their moves to turn West Africa into another Afghanistan. We have one aim at the moment - BRING BACK OUR GILRS. SMASH BOKO HARAM and its supporters – both internal; and external.

Nigeria and Africa cannot affords the growth and spread of terrorist group founded on empty rhetoric, barbaric in their methods and devoid of humanity. Our leaders must rise up to the challenge and mobilise all forces to smash these tendencies before they become endemic.

Signed by:
Zaya Yeebo, Director, Pan African Institute for Development