Independence Day Message: Melaye Leads Abuja Protest Over Jonathan's Silence On Chibok Girls


SAN FRANCISCO, October 01, (THEWILL) - As Nigerians mark 54 years of independence with a solemn ceremony in Abuja on Wednesday, the silence of President Goodluck Jonathan on the fate of the abducted Chibok Girls in his independence day message to the nation triggered a protest in the capital city.

The protest saw over 500 protesters, under the aegis of Citizens Arise Movement of Nigeria (CAMON), storming the Eagle Square to register their displeasure over the alleged insensitivity of the Federal Government to the plight of the over 200 Chibok school girls who were abducted by Boko Haram gunmen in April.

Coordinator of the group and former House of Representatives member, Otunba Dino Melaye, who led the protest, condemned President Jonathan's speech on the occasion of the nation's 54th independence, stressing that apart from the fact that it was not inspiring, his reluctance to speak on the fate of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram gunmen was unacceptable.

Melaye, who said since the Constitution has conferred on the President the status of father of the Nation, Jonathan should therefore be concerned about the plight and welfare of the people in line with the section 14 of the constitution.

He also faulted the President for not doing enough to fight corruption, alleging that almost all his ministers are neck deep in sleaze.

Melaye said: 'I want to say that the president's speech this morning is not different from the one he has been giving before. It has become a normal tradition. Unfortunately, the President addressed the nation this morning on the 54th birthday of Nigeria and he did not say anything about the missing Chibok girls. This is calamitous and painful.

'He is not the father of the nation because no father will have missing children, 219 of them, and would carry on as if nothing is wrong .We are here to tell the President that he needs to be born again. He needs to respect his oath of office.

“He swore to protect the lives and security of Nigerians on the 29th of May, 2011. He held the Bible and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 14 of that constitution is very clear, that the security and welfare of the people will be the primary objective of government.

“But the President has forgotten the welfare of the Chibok girls, he has forgotten the welfare of missing Nigerians.. We are not happy; we are calling on the President to demonstrate capacity.”

Melaye also urged President Jonathan to speedily stop the lingering insurgency in the country, saying there could not be any meaningless development without security of lives and property of the citizenry.

“Insurgency must stop now, killings must stop now, unemployment must stop now, insecurity must stop now, corruption must stop now, ” Melaye stated.

According to Melaye, 'We are here today as Citizens Arise of Nigeria to demonstrate and protest against maladministration, protest against corruption, insurgency and ineptitude in government.

'We are here to say that Nigerians are disenchanted and disillusioned about the state of affairs in the country. Nigerians are yearning for good governance. Nigerians are demanding government with capacity. Nigerians are for a President that will behave like a true Commander of the Armed Forces.”