Happy International Women’s Day 2015

Prominent women's rights activist, Mrs. Maryam Uwais's thought-provoking T-shirt. 1st May 2014
Prominent women’s rights activist and human rights lawyer, Mrs. Maryam Uwais’s thought-provoking T-shirt at the BringBackOurGirls Sitout Abuja, Nigeria. 1st May 2014. Photo Credit: Personal Collection

The International Women’s Day 2015 was officially on Sunday 08 March 2015. This is a celebration of women, but also a reminder of the need to attain gender equality, equity, parity, equilibrium or at least, some form of justice, fairness and fairplay. The Aljazeera Magazine has a special issue on “What Women Want“.

I shared a few thoughts on twitter mainly on achievements made so far in Read More »

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Thugs Disrupt Peaceful #BringBackOurGirls Protest

It has been over a month since the abduction of over 200 school girls from a secondary school in Chibok Borno state in Northern Nigeria. Since that time, protests have erupted in several cities across Nigeria, and around the world under the banner of #BringBackOurGirls. Influential politicians, global figures and celebrities have lent their support The protests started from Abuja, and have been ongoing.

I have attended several of the sit-outs in Abuja. Yet, today, things took a completely different turn. Scores of women wearing red t-shirts emblazoned with #ReleaseOurGirls and thugs disrupted the usually peaceful sit-out in Abuja. Several local Nigerian media had previously reported that the #ReleaseOurGirls protesters were meant to counter the narrative of #BringBackOurGirls which had put the government under national and international scrutiny.

From around 5pm, things started happened at a dizzying pace. All I could remember was that several angry young men, some of them in red t-shirts began yelling and hurling insults. Suddenly, they were confiscating cameras and mobile phones, pushing and shoving people, grabbing and breaking plastic chairs all at once. It was frightening.

Surprisingly, the over 50 policemen who were there to contain any disturbance stood by idly and did nothing as the hired goons went on a rampage. We were all told to huddle close together, not cave in, and then we broke into solidarity songs until the thugs left us alone. Eventually some of the police men reluctantly took away away one or two of the thugs.

Everything happened really fast, and I barely managed to capture this short video of the disruption:

Some photos I took as well:

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So, who ‘sponsored’ these guys?

Maybe the answer lies in this picture of the vehicles and equipment used by the #ReleaseOurGirls hirelings:

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