Letter to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Content of the letter to His Excellency Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dear President Jonathan:

On April 15, 2014, groups of armed men attacked and abducted more than 270 girls from Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Borno State.[1] The abduction followed other atrocities, which were not limited to beheadings, mass shootings and bombings, burnings and others, all of which were believed to be perpetrated by a group that calls itself boko haram. It is understandable that Nigerians, including your Excellency, are traumatized by these callous and barbaric acts. These have to stop—we must bring our girls back and bring to justice the perpetrators.

We note your statement on May 4, 2014 that, “[w]herever the girls are in the world, we will get them back, apprehend and punish the culprits.” We hope that your government will do all that is within its power, and in collaboration with other friends of Nigeria, to bring back our daughters to their friends, their beds and loved ones

As Nigerians, residing outside the territorial borders of our country, our concerns are primarily with the girls that were abducted, their families, and the general Nigerian citizens. We are determined to look prospectively into the immediate future when these girls shall join their loved ones, and we are neither concerned with the politics of boko haram nor any blame game associated with the response of your government to these atrocities.

It is important to understand how trauma and crimes affect children, and especially when the crimes are personal to the children. The physical damage to the body, emotional wounds and shock that our girls suffer will mark them for the rest of their lives. And, the emotional and physical marks on each of these girls shall be unique. Equally, the parents, loved ones and the general community are victims in their own rights. Any failure to acknowledge these traumas, in themselves, may lead to other associated secondary injuries.

It is based on the above concerns that we solicit your government to immediately setup a task force consisting of children psychologists, medical practitioners, children advocates and others whose directives should be to address any and all needs of these girls. This cannot and must not be politicized. The girls, their parents and loved ones must be provided government assistance to rehabilitate them as needed for as long as it is required.

It is important to communicate the inviolable rights of these girls in their lives, liberty, and to pursue their educational goals regardless of their religion and the status of their parents in Nigeria. We urge your government to upgrade the security amenities at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School and other vulnerable educational institutions, and make special provisions for these girls to resume classes as soon as possible.

We join your family and other Nigerians in praying for the quick return of these girls, and trust that your government shall provide all necessary assistance to rehabilitate them back into the community. Our community shall oblige any request from your administration in this very important task ahead. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Yinka T. Omole, Esq.         Charles C. Onyirimba, Esq.           Taofiq A. Adeboye, Esq.

 

[1] While the exact number of the abducted children remain uncertain, the girls are still in captivity at the time of writing this letter.

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