Nigeria's abducted schoolgirls focus of Halifax protest
Organizers hope people will wear red to rally on Saturday
Two Nigerian women in Halifax are desperately trying to focus more attention on the kidnapping of close to 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria.
Oluronke Taiwo and Onyinye Chekonyaronwah, both Nigerian women now living in Halifax, are planning a rally and protest in downtown Halifax this weekend.
They say they’re shocked by what's happening back home and tired of waiting for the government there to do something to find the girls.
It's been nearly three weeks since men dressed as soldiers kidnapped around 276 girls from a Nigerian boarding school. The jihadist Islamist group Boko Haram is behind the abductions. The group's leader has threatened to sell the teenage students.
For a country that's seen its share of violence, the kidnapping is terrifying for Taiwo and Chekonyaronwah.
"I was very sad. Nobody, no woman, no mother would like their children to be taken away from them,” said Taiwo.
Now, with the whole world watching, these women are hoping the Nigerian nightmare will be over soon.
The first step, says Chekonyaronwah, is for the Nigerian government to welcome offers of help.
“I'm glad that they have opened their arms to welcome international assistance,” she said. "I am very positive that with the whole world coming together to do something they are going to find the girls. Hopefully, I pray that they are still alive."
The two women say the Saturday protest is meant to raise more awareness about the kidnapping and pray for the girls' safety.
They also want to keep the pressure on the government of Nigeria to do everything it can to find them.
"So we are crying to the whole world to come out and try to let the government of Nigeria know that they need to do something now,” said Taiwo.
The women are asking people to come to parade square on Saturday at 5 p.m.
The colour red has come to symbolize this tragic event in Nigeria, so they're asking people to wear a red t-shirt or jacket.
Halifax’s poet laureate El Jones will speak.