Protests for kidnapped girls banned in Nigerian capital

Story highlights

Demonstrations are banned in the capital city of Abuja

Police are worried about "dangerous elements" joining the protests

More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in northern Nigeria

CNN —  

Police in Nigeria’s capital have banned all protests planned in support of the more than 200 girls kidnapped in April.

Commissioner Joseph Mbu said the proliferation of such protests “is now posing a serious security threat” to those living around, and driving through, demonstration sites in the capital city of Abuja.

“I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness,” he said in a statement Monday.

“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. Accordingly protests on the Chibok Girls is hereby banned with immediate effect,” the commissioner continued.

More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in northern Nigeria in April by Boko Haram, in an act that drew international condemnation.

The terror group abducted an estimated 276 girls on April 14 from a boarding school in Chibok. Dozens escaped, but more than 200 girls are still missing.

Nigerians and others have accused their government of not acting swiftly or efficiently enough to protect the girls seized in the dead of night.

Boko Haram translates as “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language. The militant group says its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

READ: CNN exclusive: Nigerian girl who escaped Boko Haram says she still feels afraid

READ: Nigerian villagers fight off attacks by Boko Haram

READ: Boko Haram threat keeps abducted Nigerian girls’ village awake

CNN’s Dana Ford contributed to this report.