SACCAWU Central Executive Committee STATEMENT ON THE ABDUCTED GIRLS IN NIGERIA
The South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union held its Central Executive Committee meeting on 29 to 31 May 2014 and among others, the meeting deliberated on the appalling and disturbing development, wherein Boko Haram has kidnapped innocent girls in April 2014, from the Chibok Government School in Nigeria and continues to unleash violence and intimidation on Nigerians, in pursuance of their agenda.
SACCAWU has long endorsed a policy and continues to campaign against the abuse of both women and children, including striving for equality in a peaceful world, free from exploitation and patriarchy in all forms and manifestations. We believe that indeed none of us can claim to be free as long as there are those who are still subjected to acts of intimidation, violence and exploitation of any kind. As delegates, we are parents too and therefore call upon Boko Haram to unconditionally release and guarantee the safe return of the abducted girls to their parents, so that they are reoriented to a school environment and education system and further enjoy and celebrate their childhood.
Our African continent, and any other society, shall not prosper if children, particularly girls, are denied a basic human right to education and learning as a result of a misguided and narrow minded political or religious agenda. We are of the view that Boko Haram, loosely translated “Western education is sin” means they will continue to pursue the ideal of a pure Islamist state and may well be working to spread its tentacles beyond Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger, from where they currently operate. It is therefore our responsibility as global citizens to stand up against this bullying!
Boko Haram has brought shame, grief and instability to our continent by kidnapping these girls. This may have created an opportunity for the anarchist and imperialists to enter our continent to further and entrench their latent but mischievous agenda, under the guise of assisting the Nigerians to save and free the girls and combat terrorism.
We join the rest of the world in demanding the release of the girls and call upon the Nigerian government to spare no effort, resource or ability to free the abducted girls from the hands of Boko Haram and provide a round the clock security to the vulnerable villages, as it has intervened to quell tensions in its neighbouring countries in the not so distant past. Whilst foreign assistance is welcome, it should be premised on the directive, leadership and coordination of Nigerians who must also work to clean up Nigerian military forces to eradicate any potential terrorist infiltration as is the case with Boko Haram. The government at its own expenses should ensure that these girls are provided with ample psychotherapy as soon as they are freed.
BRING BACK OUR GIRLS!!!
Issued by and on behalf of SACCAWU on 30 May 2014.