The #BringBackOurGirls protesters have debunked claims that they plan to sue the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor, over the controversial $9.3 million arms deal.
In a statement on Wednesday, the group’s spokesperson, Rotimi Olawale, said while the group has observed statements regarding a lawsuit attributed to its movement, it does not have plans to take legal action against Mr. Oritsejafor.
He said many reports quoted anonymous individuals as speaking for the group. These individuals, he said, released statements that do not represent the position of the #BringBackOurGirls movement.
“The news report quoting some members of BBOG as heading to court for legal actions against the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President did not emanate from our Movement and should never have been attributed to us,” Mr. Olawale said.
He said the group also believes the Nigerian Government is accountable to every Nigerian on issues as serious as the financing of war against insurgents.
Mr.Olawale said the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners have appropriate leadership and official spokespersons mandated to speak on behalf of the group.
“We are a well-organized citizen’s movement with appropriate leadership and official spokespersons who are mandated according to our public communication strategy to speak on behalf of our Movement,” he said.
He said while the group delegates some of its members to officially represent it from time to time, only 13 people are designated to speak on behalf of the group.
These people include, the group’s Co-Conveners: Hadiza Bala Usman, Oby Ezekwesili, Maryam Uwais and Saudatu Madhi.
Other strategic team members authorized to speak for the group are: Jibrin Ibrahim, Bukky Shonibare, Florence Uzor, Rotimi Olawale, Aisha Yesufu, Maureen kabrik, Mariam Ikunaiye, Dauda Iliya and Tunji Olanrewaju.
He advised the general public to ignore any statement not made by the above listed leaders or spokespersons and attributed to the group. He said, statements made by members in their personal capacity should not be attributed to the group.
“Statements made by members not designated in their personal capacity cannot and should never be attributed to our Movement,” he said.
Mr. Oritsejafor’s private jet was seized by South African government in the past week for moving an undeclared $9.3 million dollars from Nigeria to South Africa.
Mr. Oritsejafor has, however, denied knowledge of the arms deal saying the aircraft was managed by another company, Eagle Air Company, which in turn, leased the jet to a third party, Green Coast Produce Limited.
As criticisms mounted as to the complicity of Mr.Oritsejafor in a case the South African government says looks like money laundering, the Nigerian government claimed ownership of the money.
PRNigeria quoted a senior government official as saying that the South African Government only faulted “non-declaration” of the cash by the delegation from Nigeria.
“Nigeria and South Africa are getting closer to diplomatic resolution of the row over the $9.3m transaction. The two nations have opened up discussions,” PRNigeria quoted the official as saying.
The ‘BringBackOurGirls group said, like every Nigerian, it wants that the Federal Government to investigate the “extremely embarrassing seizure of $9.3m public resources allegedly exported to South Africa for activities related to procurement by our Military.”
Mr. Olawale noted that the #BringBackOurGirls group remains resolute in its demand for the rescue of the abducted girls, stating that the group is committed to its demand until the girls are rescued.
He also said the group would not join issues with any political or ethnic group in their demand for the girls’ rescue.
“We have never and will never join forces with any political or ethnic groups. Our daily meetings, which are known as “sit outs” are conducted in the open and all members of the general public are invited to join us daily at the Unity Fountain as we advocate for our 219 #ChibokGirls,” he said.