#BBOG demands National Missing Persons Register at Chibok girls’ 5th anniversary

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The #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement on Friday in Lagos renewed its call for the Federal Government to launch a National Missing Persons Register.

It made this demand at the commencement of a three-day global event to mark the 5th anniversary of the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction by terrorist group Boko Haram.

The advocacy group is marking the anniversary simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria, London in the United Kingdom as well as New York and Washington DC in America.

The girls – 276 of them – were kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, on the night of April 14, 2014, making Sunday, April 14 the event’s 5th anniversary.

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112 of the girls are yet to be captured, while others, including Leah Sharibu from Dapchi in Yobe State, are also being held captive.

Tens of BBOG members kicked off the anniversary programme with an advocacy march from the Falomo Roundabout in Ikoyi through Osborne Road to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office and back.

The team, including a former president of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) Ayo Obe and executive director for Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), Yemi Adamolekun, among others, presented their demands to UNICEF via a letter.

It said it would not relent in its advocacy “and strident demands for the rescue of our school children and fellow citizens from captivity.

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“We also demand justice for the slain; resettlement and rehabilitation for people displaced by the violence; safe schools; and the launch of the National Missing Persons Register.”

#BBOG reminded UNICEF of its focus on promoting the rights of children in Nigeria and asked that it “should join us in the call on national, regional and global influencers and authorities to support and pressure the Nigerian government to bring the nightmare of school abductions, violent extremism and insecurity to an end.

“Beyond your work as an organization, you have also been a victim as your employee has been in captivity for over 14 months.”

The anniversary programme continues today with BBOG sit outs at Falomo Roundabout and at 64, Adewale Adenuga Street, Orilowo Bus stop via Binta International School, Ejigbo, Lagos.

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The activities will come to a climax tomorrow, April 14 with an interfaith vigil at Falomo Roundabout, Ikoyi between 5pm and 7pm.

Tomorrow in London, a panel of discussants will consider the topic, #BlackLivesMatter and the #BringBackOurGirls movement: Online struggle for offline justice.

This will hold between 4pm and 7pm at The Africa Centre, 66 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BL.

In New York, the event will be marked with an overnight vigil at the Nigerian Embassy from 10pm on Sunday, April 14 and 10am on Monday, April 15.

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