The commercial activities at Alausa, the operational headquarters and capital city of Lagos State was temporarily shut down today by some angry women who were protesting against the menace of Islamic Fundamentalist Group, Boko Haram, dangerous Fulani Herdsmen and the Kaduna based pseudo terrorist group, Shiites.
The protesting women most especially demanded that Nigerian government should deliver their innocent children from the gregarious hegemony of the terrorist groups masquerading as Boko Haram and Shiites.
They alleged that over 1,000 Nigerian female children have been raped by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria in this year alone.
While declaring their support for President Muhammadu Buhari, the group charged all security agencies in the nation of Nigeria to get rid of terrorism in the country by all means necessary.
The protest started by 9am in the morning but did not end until 1pm.
The protesters carried banners and placards bearing inscriptions such as “WE WANT FOOD NOT BLOOD.” “WE ARE TIRED OF BLOODSHED.” “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” “GIVE BUHARI A CHANCE TO CHANGE NIGERIA FOR GOOD.” “STOP KILLING AND RAPING OUR CHILDREN.” “BOKO HARAM, FULANI HERDSMEN STOP RAPING OUR DAUGHTERS” and so many others.
The women were led by the Executive Director of Africa Arise for Change Network, Mrs Comfort Olunfunke Solape.
The protest started In front of Ikeja Shoping Mall at Alausa and Terminated at the Lagos State House of Assembly at exactly 12:45pm. They were addressed by the majority leader of the house, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade from Ikorodu State Constituency.
The House leader promised to deliver the protest letter of the women to the House Speaker, Hon. Mudasiru Obasa for onward transmission to President Mohamadu Buhari.
Below was the full text of the press statement delivered by the group before they started the protest;
Great Nigerian Women!
We thank you for taking out time to join this Peaceful Freedom Walk organised by the Africa Arise for Change Network. As concerned mothers of the nation called for the walk to draw the attention of our father, President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior government officials to the worrisome state of security we live under. It is worrisome for us that not enough is being done to proactively address what we see as a growing threat.
Just last week here, armed gunmen stormed a school in Ikorodu and abducted three female pupils in broad daylight. The abduction took place right here in Lagos, not some remote community in areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. This development has left all parents, especially mothers in pains as they are no longer certain of what can befall their beloved children while in school custody.
Within a few days of the girls’ abduction, hell was let loose in Mile 12 in an ethnic fueled riot that sadly led to the loss of life and property. That such ethnic oriented strife could surface in Lagos speaks volume of how an era of intolerance rapidly crept upon us without us realizing it. We condemn the Mile 12 riots in the strongest terms possible and we urge all Nigerians to do same. Our thoughts are with families that lost loved ones and businesses to the senseless carnage.
In other parts of the country, alleged herdsmen unleash terror on otherwise peaceful agrarian communities on a daily basis without being challenged in any way to be deterred from launching further attacks. We have always maintained that there are variables to these attacks that Nigerians have not been made aware of. It is reprehensible that the attacks persist at a time when a decisive defeat of terror group, Boko Haram is at hand. Another war after this hard earned victory is not worth the struggle and should not be contemplated.
The foregoing present paint a scary scenario but nothing is more frightening than the knowledge that as a country we must fight these cases of violence in addition to threat of sectarianism that came to the fore when members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or Shiite Sect attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai in Kaduna state. The attack and its aftermath are horrifying but they are nothing compared to the realization that we are up against a sect that is sponsored by another sovereign state.
We must at this point apologize to the Nigerian Army whose entourage narrowly escaped what would have been the height of national embarrassment sometimes in December of year. This is coming because video evidence that were later made available confirmed that we, alongside other well meaning Nigerians and organizations, were hasty in passing judgment to condemn the soldiers in their actions against top members of the sect in Zaria. To confirm this we have taken pains to bring such videos to this event for all to go home and ponder on.
The unscrupulous elements behind the incident had expected only the initial reaction of Nigerians and never anticipated that the truth will surface by way of documentary evidence. They had seen our country as a fertile ground to pursue their sectarian agenda that failed in their traditional sphere of influence. We are afraid that given that this videos are in Lagos, many of their actors who ran away from the north could be hiding in Lagos and our security agencies must fish them out immediately.
Given the threatening utterances of the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nigeria, Mr Saeed Koozechi, who repeatedly threatened that Nigeria is pouring fuel on fire by arresting and detaining those behind the attempt on General Buratai’s life, we want the Federal Government to comprehensively investigate the link behind foreign interference and the recent security incidents in several parts of the country. We feel concerned and passionate because as mothers every life matters to us.
This is why we today teamed up with other organizations and persons that share similar concerns to undertake this Peaceful Freedom March. We deemed it necessary to come out clearly as the conscience of our society to hold this national rally to sensitize Nigerians on the need for a collective resolve and response against terrorists and their affiliate franchises. We have always known the likes of the terror group, Boko Haram gets backing from the Islamic State but the others we should now let the nation know about is the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and its spokesperson, in the person of the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Saeed Kocheezi.
We may be laypersons when it comes to security matters but we see a clear pattern of deliberate attempts to destabilize Nigeria through the spread of sectarianism and terrorism to parts of the country that have hitherto remained peaceful. We believe this spread is directly connected to the activities and incitement by Mr Koozechi. He must therefore be sent away from Nigeria for us to refocus on rebuilding our nation.
This speech is being handed over to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for onward transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari. As we hand this letter over, we urge individuals and organizations in other states to hold similar marches and make these same demands. It is now glaring that those that want to destabilize Nigeria will not stop with Kaduna and Lagos states alone. They want the whole of the country. They want to re-colonize Nigeria for some twisted reason and it is something we must resist with the last drop of our blood and sweat.
Arise o ye compatriots, for the time to free our country is now.
Comfort Olufunke Solape