Okwe Obi, Abuja
Founder of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, speaking at a Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) lecture, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver on the promises he made to Nigerians in 2015, insisting that it is constitutionally necessary for citizens to demand their rights.
Bakare also accused the Federal Government of failing to appoint women into a sensitive position of authority, advising the President to protect citizens, and especially the girl child faced with genital mutilation, trafficking and slavery, early marriage, unequal access to education, economic empowerment, and aspirations.
Bakare, stating this at the 2nd annual lecture of the ‘Bring Back Our Girls campaign’ themed: ‘Towards a just and good society: Renewing our commitment to the girl child,’ Saturday in Abuja, insisted that, unless the government began to prioritize girl child education and freedom, the country may not achieve its full potential.
The BBOG is an activist campaign founded by former Education Minister, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, demanding the release of the remaining 112 girls abducted by terror group Boko Haram in Government Girls College, Chibok, Borno State four years ago.
Bakare, who was a Vice Presidential running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011 under the platform of the defunct Action Congress Nigeria (ACN), stated that “the fact that the Dapchi episode happened four years after the Chibok incident and one year to elections, just as it was in the Chibok case, is evidence of an alarming national malady.
“There is something wrong when a nation is twice bitten yet never shy with respect to the safety and security of its girl child.
“There is something undeniably wrong when the girl child repeatedly becomes the bargaining instrument in negotiation deals between the government and terrorists.
“There is something absolutely wrong when the girl child becomes a pawn in a political chess game in which the major political parties seek to score political points.
“One of the key indicators of stability or the lack thereof in a nation is the state of its girl child because she is often the most vulnerable in a destabilised polity.
“The problematic issues encountered by the girl child in any society are symptoms of an underlying malady which must be diagnosed.
“In essence, the brazen assault on the girl child in the Nigerian state is a clear indication that our nation is sick,” the pastor concluded.
Bakare also spoke on the actions of the BBOG campaign, stated that their intervention was timely.
“The right intervention must be guided by the realisation that the Bring Back Our Girls campaign is symbolic.
“It is the realisation that the girl child can grow to become a strong and accomplished woman contributing significantly to society.
In her remarks, co-founder of the group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, stressed that they would not bow to pressure until victory is achieved.
Chairperson of the event, Sen. Naj’atu Muhammed, blamed the military for not doing enough to see to the rescue of the girls.
She admonished Nigerians to join in the campaign to ensure that the abducted girls regain their freedom. (The Sun)