ANCWL pledges support for Nigerian girls

ANC Women’s League members gather to pledge support to the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

FILE IMAGE. ANC Women’s League members have gathered to pledge their support to the #Bring Back Our Girls campaign. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of African National Congress (ANC) Women's League members have gathered at the Johannesburg City Hall to pledge their support for the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, after the abduction of more than 270 Nigerian girls a few weeks ago.

Militants stormed into a school in Chibok and kidnapped the pupils, who are between the ages of 12 and 15.

The incident has sparked a worldwide campaign, which has seen United States President Barack Obama and other leaders calling for urgent intervention.

The Women's League has gathered together in the Town Hall with one message, to join in solidarity as mothers and grandmothers and share in the pain of the parents of the missing girls and pledge their support.

Members of the league have labelled the kidnapping of the girls as barbaric and are demanding that they bring the children back soon.

One woman says that as a mother she feels the immense pain the parents of the girls must be going through.

"Our hearts are paining. They must bring those children back. Please."

Candles will be lit later today, followed by a prayer for the girls' safe return.

At the same time Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says people should be petitioning their governments to help secure the girls' release.

Several Capetonians held a silent vigil outside St George's Cathedra on Friday.

Cape Town residents hold a vigil for the missing Nigerian school girls outside St George's Cathedral on 16 May 2014. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN.

Makgoba says its important pressure is put on Nigeria's president to help secure the girls' release.

"I am happy that the international community is helping him but we need to do more, urgently, less any of those girls are hurt or killed."

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government now says President Goodluck Jonathan did not plan to visit the village from where the girls were abducted.

The statement contradicts reports the president cancelled a visit to Chibok because of fears for his safety.