The City of Joburg has added its voice to calls for the safe return of Nigerian school girls who were abducted by Boko Haram militants in April.
On the 3rd of June 2014 the City convened at Metro Centre to plead for the safe return of more than 270 school girls who were abducted in April by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria.
In support of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau, the Johannesburg Migration Advisory Council and traditional and religious leaders lit the candle to mark their support to the global campaign.
The Mayor called on all communities, Non Governmental Organisations and all interested parties to join forces in support of this campaign. He said the city has condemned this kidnaping of young girls, urging the South African Council of Churches, government and many other worldwide organizations in calling for the safe return of the girls.
“The city believes children are a heritage and reward from the Lord. It has been said that it’s a blessing alone bringing them up in a caring and respectable way. It is very hurtful to note that the Boko Haram has chosen to disregard these good principles. Abduction to achieve political or economic rights or advance political objectives is an offence and has been condemned by many democratic countries and the United Nations. Abduction, particularly of young helpless children can lead to all sorts of abuse and all right thinking people should not tolerate this,” said the Mayor
He added that at its first sitting after the national elections in May, the council supported a multi-party resolution initiated by the Speaker Constance Bapela condemning terrorism and calling for the safe return of the girls.
“The resolution also stated its wish of Boko Haram leaders to take heed of the wise words of the freeman of the city and the founding father of our nation Nelson Mandela, who once declared that ‘children are our greatest treasure, they are out future, those who abuse them tare the fabric of the society and weaken the nation’. It is therefore in this context that we appeal to our residents to support this campaign,” concluded the Mayor.
The MMC for Health and Social Development Nonceba Molwele announced that the city would be hosting similar campaigns in all seven regions of the city. She urged the community and faith based organizations to support the campaign until it reaches its goal of safely returning the girls to their families.
MMC Molwele also announced the launch of Anti-Human trafficking campaign by the city.
Learners from Princess High School voiced their messages of support for their Nigerian counterparts. They also demanded swift action in tracing the missing girls, saying Boko Haram is not bigger than the whole world.