Nigerian army blocks parents of kidnapped girls

Parents of Nigeria’s kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls have been blocked by Nigerian army from attending rally

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A member of the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign group speaks during a meeting to call for the release of the more than 200 schoolgirls at the Unity fountain in Abuja, Nigeria on January 1, 2016

More than 120 parents of Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militant group accused the army of blocking them from attending a rally to urge the government to do more to free the girls.

The #BringBackOurGirls movement, that was established after 276 girls were abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014, claimed that coaches of the parents heading to capital Abuja for a rally on Thursday were stopped for “security reasons” late Tuesday.

The parents were going to attend in the rally and later meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Despite their meager income, over 120 parents were determined and paid the bus fare from Chibok to enable them to partake in the march to re-engage with the president,” the #BringBackOurGirls movement said in a statement.

The group also said it was informed that five buses were held in Chibok and Askira, both in Borno state.

“The top echelon of the military and security team reached out apologising for the uncalled for and regrettable incident,” the statement added.

“The military has accepted and confirmed to us that it will fully handle the movement of the remaining parents to Abuja… The parents are all set to re-embark on their botched journey.”

Furthermore, the movement called for the army to issue a public apology.

The kidnapping of the girls, who were abducted from their school dormitory at night, sparked an international outcry. The US President Barack Obama’s wife Michelle Obama has supported the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

Less than 60 have been accounted for, with more than 200 believed to still be held by Boko Haram.

Last month, Buhari said that the Nigerian government had no reliable information about their whereabouts.

The army has not yet commented on the blocking of the parents’ coaches.

TRTWorld and agencies