Many of us on the TEDxEuston team went to boarding school in Nigeria. We have fond recollections of our time there, getting a good education, forging friendships, never for once doubting that we were safe.
When FGC Yobe was attacked by Boko Haram and students were killed, we were horrified beyond words. We could not imagine how that could have happened. If our children could not be safe at school, where would they be?
We hoped a tragedy like that would never happen again. We trusted our government to ensure that it did not. In March, 50 girls were abducted from a school in Borno State. As far as we know, the girls are still at large. In April, almost 300 girls writing their exams were again abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from another school in Borno State. Apart from the few who escaped , the rest are still at large. There are rumors that some have been sold off as sex slaves for as little as $12.00. There are allegations that some have died in captivity. Some have allegedly been moved on to Cameroon and Chad. This is news that breaks our hearts. These girls are our sisters, our daughters, our nieces.
#Bringbackourgirls has probably become the one of the world’s most recognizable hashtags. We ask the government of Nigeria to ensure that our girls are brought back. WE want to see them back at school. Forging careers. Living the life they choose for themselves.
Access to education is a basic right. In communities where girls’ education is already at risk, it is important that parents are not further discouraged from sending their daughters to school. We say to the government, Enough is enough. We demand from them a safe environment not just for our girls but for every Nigerian citizen within its borders. We deserve that much.
For those of us living in London, join us on Friday the 9th May at Nigeria House, Northumberland Ave.London at 10 am.
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