#BringBackOurGirls protesters challenge ban
Nigerian police on Monday banned all protests planned in support of the over 200 kidnapped girls.
ABUJA - Nigerian protesters seeking the return of more than 200 girls kidnapped by Islamist group Boko Haram will challenge a ban on their daily protests in court.
Nigerian police on Monday banned any more protests concerning the campaign to get the girls back, saying they could be hijacked by "dangerous elements" who could threaten state security.
The girls were snatched from the remote northeastern village of Chibok, near the Cameroon border, on 14 April.
"We shall be accompanying our lawyers to the court where we hope to obtain an immediate restraint on this unconstitutional, undemocratic and repressive act," protesters spokesperson Rotimi Olawale said in an emailed statement.
Much of the anger of the protests, and a #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign that helped fuel it, has been directed towards the government for failing to protect the girls.
President Goodluck Jonathan's supporters say the protesters' anger should rather be directed at Boko Haram and that constant criticism of the military is misplaced and demoralising.
The plight of the girls has shone the international spotlight on a violent five-year-old battle for an Islamic state by insurgents who have killed thousands since 2009. At least 530 civilians have been killed by the insurgents since the day of the abduction.
US troops are in neighbouring Chad on a mission to find them. Britain and France have also offered help.
Nigerian authorities argue they face an unenviable dilemma: if they try to free the girls, some risk getting killed, or if they offer the rebels money or a prisoner swap, this would only leave them stronger, endangering more lives in the long run.
A reluctance to pursue either strategy has created a stalemate, officials say.