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Gambian activists show solidarity with “Bring Back Our Girls” global outcry

May 15, 2014, 2:04 PM

GAMCOTRAP and Child Protection Alliance in The Gambia expressed solidarity with the families, people and government of Nigeria to condemn the abduction of innocent girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

GAMCOTRAP Executive Director, Dr Isatou Touray, in partnership with the National Coordinator for the Child Protection Alliance (CPA), Njundu Drammeh, led her staff and volunteers to the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia to read a statement of solidarity presented to Her Excellency Ambassador Madam Esther John Audu.

In the joint statement read by Dr Touray, it was important to show solidarity because such terrorist act transcends borders and boundaries of Nigeria and should be condemned to protect the name of Islam.

The statement says it should be a cause for concern for all countries. No country should remain complacent given the current trends of abuses meted out on girls in the name of religion.

The predicament of the girls into all forms of violence was highlighted and the Boko Haram leader was condemned for not only acknowledging the abduction of the innocent girls but also declaring them for sale as if they are not human beings but commodities.

Dr Touray described the act as a serious breach of the principles Islam is founded upon.

Islam respects the dignity of the person, especially women, and it is clearly stipulated in the Holy Quran in various verses underscoring the respect and dignity of the woman.

The statement underscored the abduction of the girls as violence against women, misogynistic, satanic and outright evil against women, and is certainly not Islamic.

It recognized education as key in every society, especially for the empowerment of women and girls, and urged parents not to relent on their efforts to educate their girl-child.

It urged the people to resist the efforts to silence the empowerment of women and their emancipation.

Directing the appeal at the government of Nigeria and the world at large, the activists demand for active response without any reservations to deal with “these criminals who profess to be Muslims” while defying its basic principles, as well as the respect for the dignity of the person and humanity.

In accepting the statement, the Nigerian Ambassador thanked GAMCOTRAP and the Child Protection Alliance for demonstrating their concern and show of solidarity at a trying time for the families of the girls and the people of Nigeria to see to it that the ills of society are addressed.

She noted that signs have been emerging since 2002, saying those carrying out such acts are to be concerned with building Africa and not destroying property and life.

She recalled the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians in the North where she grew up and went to school, thus she is aware that Islam and Christianity preach peace.

Targeting Nigeria is targeting Africa, she noted.

Her Excellency called on Boko Haram to re-think their acts and repent because “if you destroy a woman you destroy the whole world”.

Claiming to be instructed to sell human beings is crime against God, she added, saying Africa is not interested in going back but rather in moving forward.

She called on all to instil the culture of peace and love and actively work for the development of our countries.

The demonstration of solidarity coincided with the visit of senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria in Abuja and it is expected that they would take back the message of solidarity from GAMCOTRAP and Child Protection Alliance to Nigeria.

The event in Nigeria against innocent girls goes to highlight the importance of the One Billion Rising Campaign to end violence against women.

This global grassroots initiative started by Eve Ensler is very important for the promotion and protection of women’s rights irrespective of what our religious or political affiliations may be.

All nations must join the One Billion Rising Campaign to end violence against women, she said, adding: “We must amplify our voices and work beyond boundaries and borders because it is a threatening phenomenon that is moving from one region to another.”

The statement concluded that the revolution is to fight against violence targeting women.

“We must rise against injustice no matter who it is directed at,” the solidarity statement ended. 

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