Professor Soyinka said that the BBOG group should be allowed to air its grievances without being harassed.
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has said that the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group should be allowed to air its grievances without being harassed by the police.
Soyinka made the comment after Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Wednesday, September 7, termed the group a threat to security.
The Nobel Laureate made the comments at a symposium in Lagos State, Punch reports.
“I saw a report in a national daily that demonstrations on behalf of the Chibok girls pose a threat to national security and I thought, not again. My mind flew back immediately to another governor under whose democratic leadership, parents were tear-gassed for demonstrating peacefully about losing their children in a plane crash in Port Harcourt,” Soyinka said.
“Democracy is not just about campaigning. It is exercising human rights. It is about helping to build the society. Demonstrations cannot be too much as long as those girls are missing. Demonstrations are an act of solidarity. Wherever they are today, when their mothers demonstrate on their behalf, their morale is raised.
“That is my message to security operatives who get scared of those who are agitating for a cause and fire tear gas at them. They must be treated with utmost respect and must be given their space. It is an act of solidarity for the children. Otherwise, when you stop these demonstrations, you are saying forget about the children.
“We have important things like reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, among others, to worry about. Yes, those things are important but ultimately, the society is for humanity and when one of us is hurt, we must allow ourselves to protest.
“I hope we don’t get the negative effects when they bring back our girls. And when we talk about democracy to our children, it is to teach them their rights. Therefore, there has to be greater coherence from the government and its agencies.
“We don’t have to know one single individual among the girls. We should demonstrate democratic responsibility. Let us continue to recognize solidarity with these girls and one day, they will come back or we will get to know what has become of them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the leader of the movement, Obiageli Ezekwesili has said that the group will not give up its struggle until the abducted Chibok girls are rescued.