By Sylvester Munanjala in Lusaka, Zambia.
Hundreds of Zambians will on Monday May 19th 2014, again join the rest of the world in adding pressure on Nigerian Islamist fundamentalist group Boko Haram to release some 276 girls it kidnapped more than a month ago. Dr Charlotte Scott, wife of the Vice president of Zambia is expected to take part in the high profile second demonstration organized by the Zambia Care Alliance to show the country’s outrage with the abduction of the girls from their Chibok school in north eastern Nigeria. The wife of the VP, UNFPA country representative Dr. Mary Otieno, Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Nkandu Luo and many other government officials attended the first demonstration in the Zambian capital Lusaka on May 15 2014. Monday’s march will take place in Solwezi, a town located in the North-Western province of Zambia.
Protest Leader, Jonathan Saviye 25, an entrepreneur and musician based in Solwezi town, told Iroko Magazine that protesters will meet at the Shoprite bus station, Town Center at 11am and will carry placards calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the girls.
He described the abduction of the girls as unfortunate and called for massive turn out by people to make sure the demonstration sends a strong message to the violent Al-Qaeda inspired Boko Haram that the world was against their murderous rampage across Nigeria.
“I’m personally highly saddened and disturbed by the situation, reason why I’ve brought together people in my community and province. But everyone that cares is welcome. Just come with a placard displaying like Zambia cares, Bring Back Our Girls, Free The Girls, etc. to show our brothers and sisters in Nigeria that we care” he said
Mr Saviye said as Africa’s most populous nation, what happens in Nigeria had a direct bearing around the continent which is why Zambia was joining in the global protests against the atrocities of Boko Haram.
“What’s happening to Nigeria can happen to any country at anytime. Terrorism may sound like a simple thing to countries that have never experienced it, but trust me, what is happening in Nigeria is affecting the whole world…That’s why we need to support and sympathise with them” Saviye emphasized.
Lusaka based sociologist Lucky Musonda told Iroko Magazine it was note worthy that Zambia was also showing solidarity with Nigeria in its greatest hour of need.
“I think it’s a positive move which every well-meaning person should be able to support…It’s good that people especially in Africa, are learning to speak out and condemn such vices which are impending on the rights of others”, Musonda said.
The bring back our girls protests in Zambia has received support from a wide range of people including government officials, musicians, actors, lecturers and students and the organizers say they will continue till Boko Haram releases the girls.
A number of local newspapers, radio and TV stations including the country’s national broadcaster, ZNBC, have also pledged to show support for the protests by giving it the widest publicity.