Boko Haram and its sponsors have been called upon to release the schoolgirls who were abducted on April 14, saying the girls have not committed any crime.
The Pakistani girl child education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai, who is in the country to commemorate Malala Day in Abuja, urged the Ilamists to stop the shedding of blood and misuse of the name of Islam.
“I want to tell Boko Haram, think about your own sisters; just think for a while; think about your own sisters. If they suffer too the same brutal and harsh situation, how would you feel?,” she said.
Malala also added: “If your own sisters are homeless, if they are around the captivity of someone who is so wild and cruel, how would you feel? Those who are under your imprisonment are like your sisters. Islam gives a message of brotherhood. We are all sisters and brothers.
“You are misusing the name of Islam, but you hang your Quran there. You hear that Islam gives a message of brotherhood; that we are all sisters and brothers and that we should respect each other and the language that we speak.
“I request you to lay down your weapons; release our sisters. Release my sisters and release the daughters of this nation. Let them be free; they have committed no crime,” she added.
Malala, who is in Nigeria on the commemoration of her 17th birthday, told journalists during a briefing after meeting President Jonathan that the President promised her that he would meet with the parents of the abducted girls and ensure that they are returned home safely.
Briefing journalists alongside the President’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati; her dad, Ziauddin Yousafzai; and the Director of Operations of Malala Foundation, Eason Jordan, the Pakistani teenager said she was in Nigeria to support girls’ education and advocate the release of the Chibok girls.
She said: “I am here in Nigeria on my 17th birthday for a price which is to see that every child goes to school,” Malala said.
“This year, my objective is to speak up for my Nigerian sisters. About 200 of them who are under the abduction of Boko Haram and I met President Goodluck Jonathan for this purpose.
“I convey the voice of my sisters who are out of school or who are still under the abduction of Boko Haram. And for those girls who escaped from the abduction but still do not have education.
“And in the meeting, I highlighted the same issues which the girls and their parents told me in the past two days.
“The parents said they really want to meet with the President to share their stories with him. And I asked the President if he wants to meet with the parents of the girls. He assured me that he would meet with them.”