The BringBackOurGirls movement (BBOG), on Sunday said President Muhammadu Buhari has no more excuse not to rescue the school girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists over two years in Chibok, Borno State.
BBOG, in statement by its conveners, Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwezili, said this after Boko Haram released a new video showing some of the abducted girls, one of them, Dorcas Yakubu, pleading with the federal government to release detained Boko Haram commanders as a condition for their freedom.
Two hundred and seventy-six (276) girls were abducted on April 14, 2014, with 58 of them having so far regained freedom.
Of the remaining 218 girls, Boko Haram said about 40 had been married off while some were said to have been killed and injured in airstrikes by the military.
The BBOG group met with Mr. Buhari at the State House in January.
The movement said it had since then been calling on the President to be responsive on the rescue operation.
The group said Mr. Buhari had so far failed to display “the sort of response we demand”, regretting that the President was not even inspired by the return of Amina Ali, one of the girls who escaped from her abductors.
“We state categorically that the excuse of a split within the terrorists’ ranks or a period of validation of the authenticity of their claims will not suffice this time,” the group said Sunday. “We shall press these demands with a march to the Villa in the next few days.”
The BBOG group has since the abduction of the girls, which sparked global outrage, spearheaded the campaign for their rescue.
It consistently criticised former President Goodluck Jonathan for dilly-allying on early rescue efforts.
The group said said it is now ready to confront the Buhari administration on the matter.
“We shall press these demands with a march to the Villa in the next few days,” it said.
Read the full statement below.
Today, 853 days since the abduction of our #ChibokGirls, we woke up to a video on the state of our girls. We are left with mixed feelings of grief and strengthened hope as the chilling words continue to sink in.
“Our parents please exercise patience. We are suffering here. There is no kind of suffering we haven’t seen. Our sisters are injured, some have wounds on their heads and bodies.
“Tell the government to give them their people so we can also come to be with you. We are all children and we don’t know what to do. The suffering is too much, please endeavour as we also have exercised patience.
“There is nothing you, or we, can do about this but to get their people back to them, so we can go home. Exercise patience as we also have endured.”
This is a direct translation of the Kibaku part of the message. The interpreter, Dr. Allen Manaseh, who is the Spokesman of the Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA) in Abuja, identified the speaker as Dorcas Yakubu, whose parents Esther and Yakubu live in the Abuja area and are both present here with us. In addition, the recognition of several of the girls leaves no room for doubt that these are our girls.
Since we last met with the President in January, we have continued to call on him to be responsive to the needs of our Chibok parents, our movement, and the Global Community for timely updates on the rescue operation. In the aftermath of an earlier video, we repeatedly called for the Government to treat the information as the missing piece of “credible intelligence” it was seeking. Not even the return of Amina Ali, a #ChibokGirl, inspired the sort of response we demanded.
After listening to the call of Dorcas Yakubu, we demand an immediate, transparent, action and results-oriented response plan by the Government. We state categorically that the excuse of a split within the terrorists’ ranks or a period of validation of the authenticity of their claims will not suffice this time. We shall press these demands with a march to the Villa in the next few days.
Nothing short of the Nigerian state being in contact with the parents, confirming identities of our girls, providing psychosocial support where necessary, and most importantly, articulating an action plan will be acceptable.
Today, 28 months since the abduction, we call on the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, China, Australia, Israel, agencies like the United Nations and African Union, and all who previously expressed intentions to support the rescue efforts, to reengage and adopt a strategic rescue position. As global citizens, this is the least our #ChibokGirls deserve.
We appeal to all citizens empathetic to the cause of our girls to hold them and their parents in prayers, and commit to joining our march to the Villa in the coming week. Our government, and the World, cannot continue to fail these innocent young women whose only crime is their decision to be educated. If we do, we would have failed to defend our civilization and shared humanity.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls
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