By Asma’u Ahmad
The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II has urged the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement to broaden their campaign to include all young victims of insurgency in Nigeria. The emir made the call in Abuja on Friday at the inaugural annual lecture to mark third anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok Girls with theme: ‘Where goes our girl-child, our nation goes.’
According to him, BBOG should always endeavour to draw attention of the Federal Government and other stakeholders to the plight of girls and women in the society following activities of Boko Haram terrorists. The emir, who was represented by his daughter, Hajiya Shahida Sanusi, explained that as at today in Dalori II Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp near Maiduguri alone, more than 1,500 girls were either pregnant or nursing babies.
He noted that due to society’s neglect hundreds of orphans are being carried away to unknown destinations and they are thrown into oblivion. “Our interest should be in bringing back all our girls but after these girls are brought back, we need to ask ourselves as well where are they being brought back to? What kind of society? “How much better is the normal environment we take for granted than Boko Haram’s camps” he asked.
The traditional ruler stressed the need for the BBOG to shift its focus to the broader social reality of women in Africa, Nigeria and especially the North. He said: “We all claimed to be horrified by what terrorists have done and we all call this primitive and barbaric but what about the situation where your girls out of schools were forced into marriages against their consent.
“Such girls are often turned into mothers at a young age and exposed them to serious health risks and sometimes inflict beatings and verbal abuse on them. It is often not the fault of girls or their parents, what do they do if there are no educational and health system made available for the poor?”
Also speaking, the Chairperson of the occasion, Professor Grace Alele Williams urged government to equip the military to rescue the remaining Chibok girls. Prof. Williams said that it had taken too long and government had no excuse not to rescue the remaining 195 girls in captivity.
One of the parents of the abducted girls, Mrs. Rebekah Samuel who broke down in tears, appealed to government and international community to redouble their efforts at rescuing their children in captivity. “Three years not three days neither three weeks nor three months, Government and President Buhari should help us”
Mrs. Samuel commended the effort of BBOG movement for their tireless efforts at ensuring the abducted girls are returned to their families.