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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Gambian activists show solidarity with the “Bring out Girls Back” global outcry

Gamcotrap executive director, Dr Isatou Touray, in partnership with the national coordinator for CPA, Mr Njundu Drammeh, led staff and volunteers to the Nigerian High Commission in The Gambia and read a statement of solidarity which was presented to Ambassador Esther John Audu. 

The joint statement read by Dr Touray, stated that it was important to show solidarity because such terrorist acts transcend borders and boundaries of Nigeria and should be condemned to protect the name of Islam.  The statement warned that it should be a cause of concern for all our countries. “No country should remain complacent given the current trends of abuses meted on girls in the name of religion,” she said.

The predicament of the girls into all forms of violence was highlighted and the Boko Haram leader was condemned for not only acknowledging the abduction of the innocent girls but also declaring them for sale like commodities.  

Dr Touray described the act as a serious breach of the principles to which Islam was founded upon. “Islam respects the dignity of the person, especially women, and is clearly stipulated in the Holy Qur’an in various verses underscoring the respect and dignity of the woman,” she asserted.

The statement underscored the abduction of the girls “as violence against women, misogynistic, satanic and outright evil against women, and certainly not Islamic”.

Dr Touray said it isconventional wisdom that education is key in every society especially for the empowerment of women and girls, and she urged parents not to relent in their efforts to educate their girls and urged people to resist the efforts to silence the empowerment of women and their emancipation.

Directing the appeal to the government of Nigeria and the world at large, the activists demand an   active response “without any reservations to deal with these criminals who profess to be Muslims while defying its basic principles as well as the respect for the dignity of the person and humanity”. 

In accepting the statement, the Nigerian high commissioner thanked Gamcotrap and the CPA for demonstrating their concern and showing solidarity “at a trying time for the families of the girls and the people of Nigeria to see to it that the ills of society are being addressed”.  

She urged those carrying out such acts to be concerned about building Africa and not destruction of life and property.   She recalled the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians in the northern Nigeria where she said she grew up and went to school.  

“Targeting Nigeria is targeting Africa. Boko Haram have to re-think their acts and repent because if you destroy a woman you destroy the whole world.  Claiming to be instructed to sell human being is crime against God,” she said.    

Ambassador Esther asserted that Africa was not interested in going backward but moving forward and called on all to instil the culture of peace and love and actively work for the development of our countries.  

The demonstration of solidarity coincided with the visit of senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria in Abuja and it was expected that they will take back the message of solidarity from Gamcotrap and CPA to Nigeria.

The joint CPA, Gamcotrap statement noted: “The event in Nigeria against innocent girls goes to highlight the importance of the One Billion Rising Campaign to end violence against women.  This global grassroots initiative initiated by Eve Ensler is very important for the promotion and protection of women’s rights irrespective of what our religious or political affiliations may be. All nations must join the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women. We must amplify our voices and work beyond boundaries and borders because it is a threatening phenomenon that is moving from one region to another.  The revolution is to fight against violence targeting women.  We must rise against injustice no matter who it is directed at.”

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