By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— The Bring Back Our Girls BBOG movement, yesterday, took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari for lacking the political will to rescue 218 Chibok girls.
BBOG said as opposed to the President’s excuse that he lacked “credible intelligence” to rescue the girls, what he actually required was the political will to take decisive action in the present circumstance.
The group stated this in an address jointly signed by its leaders, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, which was read during its protest march on the Presidential Villa.
“Mr. President must now exercise firm and dedicated leadership on rescuing our #ChibokGirls just as he would do, were the girls his daughters,” the group demanded.
“As was the case on Monday, security operatives also barred the protesters from accessing the villa, stopping them short at the Bullet Junction near the Head of Service building.
“Reports from former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, after a meeting with Mr. President, suggested that the Federal Government’s position remains a ‘lack of credible intelligence.
“Coming over seven months since our engagement with Mr. President on January 14, and considering the lack of feedback on rescue efforts, this strengthens the position that there has been no focused, coherent and consistent operation to rescue our #Chibokgirls.”
“Having submitted four cogent reasons, it could not be said that there is a ‘lack of credible intelligence’ during our meeting in January and three further reasons just three days ago, the discussion must shift from ‘credible intelligence’ to ‘political will’ to decide on a line of action, and act!.
‘’This is especially so because Mr. President acknowledged the level of first-person intelligence that was to be obtained from the debrief of our #Chibokgirl, Amina Ali, while receiving her in May. Mr. President: No More Delays. The Time to Decide and Act is Now,” the statement read.
The BBOG regretted reports showing that Nigerian troops at the frontlines complained about their salaries and emoluments, urging the federal government to launch an investigation into the welfare of troops.
It quoted the reports as saying that the developmentwass weakening their morale in the fight against insurgency as the food they were fed was in no way better than that served prisoners.
“This is unacceptable and we call for an investigation. At this time of immense sacrifice from our troops on the frontline, it is important to prioritise their welfare and needs, ensuring that they have no cause to complain or worry about basic needs as they serve their nation to rout out the insurgents,” BBOG stated.
Shekau killled for the fourth time?
The BBOG also questioned military reports that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau was fatally wounded in a recent aerial bombardment of the sect’s stronghold in Sambisa Forest.
The group said the government had on several occasions announced the killing Mr Shekau.
“Another key issue in the last seventy two hours is the military’s announcement that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau was fatally wounded during air raids. We want it on record that this is at least the fourth time the Nigerian state has triumphantly announced killing this fellow.
“Mr. President should swiftly make a firm decision for their immediate rescue based on the three available options. Military operation, Negotiation with the terrorists or a Combination of the two.
“Mr. President must assess the wealth of information and state resources available to pursue a lowest risk option of these three.
“That Mr. President addresses Nigerians on his rescue plan and timelines of our #ChibokGirls. That Mr. President immediately constitutes a #ChibokGirls Rescue Operation Monitoring Team made up of representatives of Federal Government, parents of #ChibokGirls, KADA (the Chibok community), and #BringBackOurGirls.
‘’ This multi-stakeholders platform should act as a transparent mechanism for feedback on evidence of Mr. President’s sustained action towards bringing back our #Chibokgirls.
“Mr. President should immediately preside over National Emergency in the North East Conference to articulate a cohesive response plan to the Humanitarian Crisis and designate a ‘Special Envoy’ responsible for the inter-agency collaborative work required, as well as mobilize the private sector, Nigerian public, and the international community,” the BBOG demanded.