June 2, 2014, citing lawlessness and security threats, the Police Commissioner in Abuja has banned all protests regarding the missing 240 girls kidnapped by the terrorist organization Boko Haram. “I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness,” he said, “Protests on the Chinok girls are hereby banned with immediate effect.” Police Commissioner Joseph Mbu is known for violently cracking down on protesters, including students and lecturers.
In a statement, Mbu cited “dangerous elements” that are trying to hijack the protests. He cited the emergence of “Release Our Girls,” a rival protest group that violently attacked the “Bring Back Our Girls” protest. However, Mbu did not condemn these attacks and his officials stood by and watched. “Information reaching us is that too soon, dangerous elements will join groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosives aimed at embarrassing the government.”
Many believe the directive to be aimed at the Abuja family, who has been staging sit-out protests for over 30 days to ensure the issue stays at the forefront of political discourse. Protesters promised to challenge the ban in court on June 3 and filed a complaint. On Tuesday, June 3, a few hours after the complaint was filed, a spokesman for Mbu issued a statement saying that the Commissioner was only advising against protests and that no ban had been put into effect. He cautioned the protesters to reconsider their positions, as there are threats of infiltration and violence.
As security forces in Nigeria focus on protesters and internal issues, the plight of almost 300 girls remains on the backburner. But this is not the only issue. Protesters have long agonized over the corruption in the military and government of Nigeria, worried that it will detract from finding their loved ones. And they may be right.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 10 generals and 5 other senior military officials were convicted of providing arms and information to Boko Haram. This is comes as another blow to the families whose children were kidnapped by Boko Haram men posing as military personnel.
The families and friends of the kidnapped girls are fighting. They are fighting their government’s corruption, bans on peaceful protests, and time.
International Christian Concern
PM News Nigeria