We did it! Participants made up of representatives of NGOs, youth groups, the Deaf and concerned mothers assembled at the Trolleys and took off for a 5km walk at about 9am from Trolleys all the way to the Governor’s Office, Secretariat. The Police provided security escort. Although the Governor was not around, we were graciously received by the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo. Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and Dr Mojisola Atalabi delivered addresses in English and Yoruba respectively where they expressed the frustration of Nigerian women on the incessant and relentless killings of Nigerian children especially in the North Eastern part of the country and called on the federal government to adopt a change in its security strategies in order to stop the carnage before we all consumed by it. Below is the text of the address by Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and photos:
PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, STOP THE CARNAGE
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED TO HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR ABIOLA AJIMOBI, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE ON THE OCASSION OF NIGERIAN WOMEN MOURN WALK, IBADAN ON 6TH MARCH, 2014.
We are here this morning to pour our grieving hearts to you on the incessant and relentless killings of our children in the North Eastern part of the country. As parents, our grief is deep. We are horrified at the spate of horrendous crimes committed against our children, women and others as there appears to be no solution in sight.
It is no news that dozens of our children were murdered in their sleep in a most barbaric manner. We have also become accustomed to sad tales of how some mindless characters have turned that part of the country to a huge theatre of war. We are saddened by the fact that these savages get away with the heinous crimes perpetrated against our people almost on a daily basis.
We note with deep sadness that, in spite of the declaration of a state of emergency in the three states, Yobe, Adamawa and Bornu, mostly affected by the nefarious activities of the criminals christened as insurgents, the security agencies seem to have no clue to their menace. We strongly advise that they adopt a change in strategy to defeat the agents of darkness. Obviously, the present strategy is not working! We suggest that the military hierarchy devise means of getting the local people (both men and women) to work with them in stamping out this scourge.
We demand a thorough investigation on the allegation that someone ordered the withdrawal of troops stationed to guard the school which came under brutal attack shortly before they struck. If it is true, all those found complicit must be sanctioned.
The welfare of the people should be the primary purpose of governance. It is very disturbing to note that our people now feel less protected by the government of the day. We call on our politicians to cast aside partisan considerations in dealing with this problem. All of us are victims. All Nigerians must rise in unison against these savages.
Let us stop the carnage before we all consumed by it.
Anchor, Nigerian Women Mourn Walk, Ibadan.