#BringBackOurGirls group gives conditions for joining military on Sambisa tour

Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili

The #BringBackOurGirls group has outlined a set of conditions to be met by the Nigerian government before accepting its invitation for a trip into Sambisa forest.

The government had asked Oby Ezekwesili, the convener of the advocacy group, to nominate three of their members to join the military on a guided trip into Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.

In a letter dated January 11th and signed by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, the government said the trip would avail the BBOG group the opportunity to witness and better understand the efforts being made to secure the freedom of the abducted girls.

The letter said the trip, planned by the military, would see invited BBOG members and a select group of journalists joining the ministers of defence and information, the Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Army Staff for the tour.

“They will first go to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Command Centre in Yola to witness firsthand the efforts being made to search for the girls by NAF and then join the day and night sorties with the BAF to the Sambisa Forest,” the letter said.

Responding to the invitation, the BBOG group said its members unanimously agreed that they were open to exploring the opportunity.

“We had an emergency meeting of our Movement to discuss your invitation to embark on a ‘guided tour’ of the Nigerian Air Force Command (Yola) and Sambisa Forest with officials of the government,” the group stated in their letter dated January 13th and signed by Mrs. Ezekwesili.

“However, before proceeding with further discussion on the proposed visit, we propose a pre-tour meeting to discuss pertinent issues that will help inform our decision to proceed.

“We believe that this prior meeting would help provide first-hand knowledge of, and answers to questions that our movement wishes to raise ahead of the guided visit.”

The group proposed that participants at the meeting include the National Security Adviser, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Army Staff, and the Chief of Air Force.

The group accused the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, of endorsing a statement by “a certain group” visiting him which described the BBOG movement as engaging in “social media terrorism”.

“It is puzzling that the reported said visit happened less than 48 hours before our Movement received your letter asking us to travel in the company of the same Chief of Army Staff to Sambisa Forest,” the group stated.

“We demand therefore that ahead of the pre-tour meeting we have proposed herein, that the Chief of Army Staff retracts and apologizes for endorsing such slanderous attacks against our Movement #BringBackOurGirls and specifically at some of our leaders.

“Such a step would communicate that it is with goodwill that the Federal Government is asking us to entertain the visit proposed in your letter.”

More than 200 girls were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, in April 2014 by Boko Haram insurgents.

For nearly three years, the BBOG group has sustained itd advocacy for the safe return of the girls to their families


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  • arewethishopeless

    So if the CoA does not apologise, the group will not go?

    • princegab

      Apology or not, the trip is unnecessary. A sheer foolishness. BBOG to go in search for the Chibok girls? This is all oga Lai could offer.

      • Arabakpura

        I know that journalists join the military to the war front to gain eye-witness account! This may be what is on offer and not to give them AK47!

    • Otile

      What are they going to do? Does the trip make any sense to you at all?

  • Dazmillion

    I dont understand the security forces in this country. How can you be advertizing a trip to the forest with high level official when there are Boko Haram spies in the army that will pass information that the Boko Haram fighters can use a rocket propelled genenade to shot down their aircraft

  • thusspokez

    The #BringBackOurGirls group has outlined a set of conditions to be met by the Nigerian government before accepting its invitation for a trip into Sambisa forest.

    I can’t believe that this group is even contemplating accepting the offer dreamt up by some mørøms in the Buhari government. But Mrs Oby Ezekwesili is an intelligent lady, isn’t she? How could she fall for this nonsense?

    There is still daily attacks by boko haram around the area, it is therefore very irresponsible for a government to invite civilians to war zone and endanger their lives. What if boko haram attempts to kidnap member of the group?

    Besides the ridiculousness of the Buhari’s goverment’s offer, can’t the group see that the government is trying to use them and by extension destroy the group itself? Further, as stµpid and dangerous as the offer is, it could also be seem as potential propaganda coup for the Buhari government. After the trip, I can see the government countering any subsequent #BringBackOurGirls protest with: “We took them (i.e., #BringBackOurGirls members) to the forest-o, but even they couldn’t find the girls-o!

    …on a guided trip into Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.

    Guide tour of a forest that, some say, is 18 times the size of Lagos?

    • Arabakpura

      They are not traveling by road o!

      If they cannot go, they should then believe the government’s account or do you support perpetual blackmail?

  • Profy

    Fear Don catch dis woman oooooo. So is it the apology of CoAs Dat matters now or show concern abt the gurls as Deh make us believe.

  • Otile

    Beside being a thief I did not know that Buratai is this moronic. How can a general invite civilians most of them women to tour a raging war zone? Where is commonsense? Why is Buhari still keeping this_idiot in the military, is it because Buratai is his fellow fulani Muslim? God forbid.

  • bigbang

    Looks like they are now a NGO.

    What rubbish.

  • Arabakpura

    Good position statement from the BBOG group!

  • Emeka

    This group is gradually turning to a group of jesters by their laughable demands before embarking on a trip that may enable them get first class information on the level of efforts put in the rescue of these innocent girls. What this suggest is that they were not even willing to make Sacrifices in the rescuing of these girls, if such demands from them to Chief of Army Staff would be the only condition or enabler in finding these girls. In Igbo land, we have a saying that says “Nwa ga anwu anwu si si were odu nni kwere ya uta.” What this means is that “a child who was destined or vowed to die, said the only condition to which he would live is unless his parents construct a bow and arrow from a mortar’s pestle.”

  • pheliciti

    Its easier to demonstrate in Abuja with police protection of course…
    The group refuses to acknowledge the thousands of BH hostages set free…instead they continue to nag the army with the singular point of failure. The army has not scored up to 80% in my estimation but a little bit of encouragement from the people will push them across the line. Let’s remember that the soldiers are putting their lives on the line!
    I can’t believe Madam Oby will make personal abuse an issue, as if her constant nagging of the soldiers is not abuse enough. If she can give so much, she should take a little on the chin without complain.

  • FineBoy

    Easier to be a critic than appear in the theater

  • Kekedu

    Apology? What apology?! Madam, abeg proceed and join the trip! You may even sight one or two of the girls yet to be released by the terrorists… that’s the focus. Thank you for participating in this noble trip. Fear not!

    • Otile

      What we need is the release of the girls not a fruitless trip to showcase how the military can overfly the Sambisa evil forest.

      • Kekedu

        No wahala. Please wait behind at the hotel lobby in Abuja.

  • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

    This is the worst thing that ever happened to Nigeria. You guys are instrumental to foisting this calamitous ineptitude on Nigeria, a government full of vendetta, malicious intent, hate, blackmail ,lies, hypocrisy, deceit and intimidation. It is good that you guys are falling victim in the hand of the same plaque your conspiracy brought upon Nigeria.

  • Kublai

    What is the priority here? The girls or people’s prides?

  • Isaac Azor

    The group has no choice but to go to sambisa and bring back to us first hand information on the position of things with regards to Chibok girls rescue operation.

  • kayode Olufade

    If you are interested in going, go and stop making excuses. This is about Nigerian security and not about BBOG’s endorsement. I blame the government for extending the invitation in the first place. They are good criticizing in the safety of their homes and streets but to go to the theatre f war to witness what is going on is giving them goose pimples!

  • Auwal Lukman

    Hahahahh.. Just accept it na. You are trying to do a good job, so the military officials. Why most the stop their job to accomplish yours.. Let every one do his job perfectly the way its recommended … Plz accept this offer to witness how our gallant soldiers sacrifices their lifes for your daughter’s.. Wait can u do the same for them???

  • Abdulkadir

    How many times have you apologized for promoting slander against the Nigerian Army?

  • abodes_124

    This invitation is a bit suspect given the jaundiced view of the Chief of Army staff and by extension the government of the BBOG group. I would advice them not to go on this over flight of Sambissa forest. as they may go ‘missing in action’. Worse things have been known to happen to people who have irritated this particular General who does not take prisoners.