A group of about 70 Nigerians living in Belize as well as many Belizeans marched in Belmopan on Saturday. The march was to bring awareness to the plight of hundreds female students who were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria in mid April of this year. The kidnappings were claimed by Boko Haram, an Islamic Jihadist and terrorist organization based in northeast Nigeria. While some 63 women and girls have already escaped the Boko Haram, over one hundred are still missing. Organizers of Saturday’s rally in Belmopan say that though they are here in Belize, they are in deep sympathy with the families of the missing females
“We want to know the kidnapped girls from the northern part of Nigeria [will] be released, because the parents of those girls are in distress. They are not comfortable. We Nigerians are not comfortable, because anybodies child or children could be kidnapped. So we are praying to God, to release those children. To [convince] those men who are holding the children to release them.”
Since 2010, Boko Haram has targeted schools, killing hundreds of students. A spokesperson for the group said such attacks would continue as long as the Nigerian government continued to interfere with traditional Islamic education. The attacks have intensified since 2014. One participant in Saturday’s march said that it really is madness.
“It is madness. I call it madness, because in this age somebody will wake up one day and tell us that education is evil. When they are sick, they seek doctor. They need communication , they use cell phone. How then are they telling us that education is evil, if it is evil. I’m calling upon the Nigerian government to do something. If dialogue cannot work, let them fight them. That’s the only thing to suppress this madness.”
The participants in Saturday’s march prayed together and ask that the nation of Belize join them in prayers for their nation and the safe return of the kidnapped females.