A civil rights organisation, Citizens Arise Movement of Nigeria, on Wednesday staged a protest at the Eagle Square, Abuja to register its displeasure over the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to make any comment about the Federal Government’s efforts at securing freedom for the over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
The schoolgirls were abducted on April 14, 2014 in their hostels by the members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
The protesters also added that their decision to mark the Independence Day with a protest was to draw Global attention to maladministration, corruption, insurgency and government’s ineptitude.
“We are here to say that Nigerians are disenchanted and disillusioned about the state of affairs in the country. Nigerians are yearning for good governance. Nigerians are demanding government with Capacity to perform. Nigerians are for a President that will behave like a true Commander of the Armed Forces,” CAMON stated in a statement it distributed during the protest.
The protesters, numbering about 300, demonstrated around the Federal Secretariat chanting various anti-government songs and demanded that “the President must be born again.”
The convener of CAMON and a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, condemned President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech on the occasion of the nation’s 54th independence.
He stressed that apart from the fact that it was not inspiring, his reluctance to speak on the fate of the 219 girls was unacceptable.
According to him, since the constitution conferred on the President the status of a “father”, he should be concerned about the plight and welfare of the people in line with the Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution.
He also castigated the President for not doing enough to fight corruption, alleging that almost all his ministers were neck deep in sleaze.
He said, “I want to say that the President’s speech this (Wednesday) morning was not different from the ones he has been giving before. It has become a normal tradition. Unfortunately, the President addressed the nation this morning, the 54th birthday of Nigeria and he did not say anything about the missing Chibok girls. This is calamitous and painful.
“He is not the father of the nation because no father will have missing children, 219 of them, and would carry on as if nothing is amiss. We are here to tell the President that he needs to be born again. He needs to respect his oath of office.
“He swore to protect the lives and security of Nigerians on May 29, 2011. He held the Bible and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 14 of that constitution is very clear, that the security and welfare of the people will be the primary objective of government.
“But the President has forgotten the welfare of the Chibok girls. He has forgotten the welfare of missing Nigerians. We are not happy and we are calling on the President to demonstrate capacity.”
Melaye also called on the President to speedily bring an end to insurgency in the country, stressing that there could not be any meaningful development without security of lives and property of the citizenry.