Nigerian Officials Ban ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Protests

Police have banned all protests over the more than 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok, claiming that the gatherings have become a “serious security threat.”

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Nigerian women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, protest in Abuja April 30, 2014, calling for the girls’ return. 

PHILIP OJISUA/AFP/Getty Images

When more than 200 girls were kidnapped from a village in Nigeria in April, a social media campaign went viral. The #BringBackOurGirls became a movement that included first lady Michelle Obama posing for the campaign. That campaign grew internationally and has become a rallying cry for protesters outside Nigeria's capital.

Now, police in Nigeria say that movement could, in fact, be dangerous, and have banned protests, claiming that such gatherings are "posing a serious security threat."

Abuja Police Commissioner Joseph Mbu says that the protests have become fertile ground for those who want to do harm to those living around and driving through the capital city of Abuja, CNN reports.

"I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness," Mbu said in a statement Monday, CNN reports.

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram is reported to be responsible for the abduction of over 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok on April 14. Mbu believes that large protests will make it difficult for Nigerian police to determine who is actually protesting and who has sinister motives. 

"Information reaching us is that too soon dangerous elements will join the groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosive(s) aimed at embarrassing the government," Mbu said in his statement, CNN reports. "Accordingly, protests on the Chibok Girls is hereby banned with immediate effect."

Read more at CNN.

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