Following the statement by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday, warning the #BringBackOurGirls(BBOG) campaigners against continuing with their street processions, which he said constituted a security threat to public peace and order, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, said the group should be given their space to protest. Soyinka said this at a symposium to start the 20th anniversary programme of Halifield Schools, Maryland, Lagos. According to Soyinka, ‘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. 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.”