The scheduled meeting between the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and members of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group failed to hold in Abuja on Monday.
It is unclear why the planned meeting failed but Mr. Ki-Moon attended a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa around the scheduled time.
Members of the group, who thronged Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, in anticipation of a meeting with the UN scribe at 6:30pm, left dejected as Mr. Ki-Moon was not available.
The group had earlier in the afternoon sent out e-mails inviting media houses to cover a proposed meeting with Mr. Ki-moon, but about 45 minutes after the scheduled time, a female police officer came to speak with one of the group’s leaders, Aisha Yesufu.
Moments later, the Special Advisor to Mr. Ki-moon on Post 2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed, and later the group’s convener, Obiageli Ezekwesili, told the campaigners and the media that the UN scribe was off to meet with Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, for a dinner.
“Unfortunately, he is attending a dinner with the president. Otherwise, he would have passed through to say hello to the rest of the group,” Ms. Ezekwesili said.
She said that at an earlier meeting with victims of Boko Haram, Mr. Ki-moon had assured them of UN’s renewed interest to continue to be a voice for the abducted Chibok girls.
According to her, the secretary general also said the multinational effort of the military would be supported by the UN, noting that a soft approach is needed in the reintegration of the victims into the society through inclusive development.
“I continue to say it that there is no response that satisfies us more than being able to see the girls. It is 497 days, and in three days, it would have been 500 days since the girls got missing,” the former minister said.
She added that the group’s hope lies on the three-month deadline given to the military by the president to clear the country of terrorists in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
This, she hopes, will amount to tangible results in the rescue of not only the Chibok girls but all those who are under the captivity of the insurgents.
The #BringBackOurGirls group started its campaign immediately after the abduction of over 200 girls from their hostel in Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014.
The group has since then garnered global support since their campaign started putting pressure on Nigerian government to ensure the safe release of the girls.