By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Ahead of the third anniversary of the kidnap of over 200 school girls in Chibok, the Bring Back Our Girls BBOG movement has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari administration of trying to shut the group up, saying the president now gets cold and irritated at the mention of the girls’ abduction.
In a statement issued Friday night in Abuja and signed by Aisha Yesufu, the BBOG said; “These days, we have observed a coldness, ominous silence and irritability of key officials whenever the government is reminded of its constitutional duty to rescue ChibokGirls and all other abducted citizens”.
The abduction which caused an international outrage formed a major plank of the electioneering campaign of the All Progressives Congress APC and Mr Buhari.
The statement came barely seven days to the third anniversary of the abduction which took place on April 14, 2014.
Part of the statement reads:
“Today is Day 1089 since schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok were abducted in their school by terrorist; 57 escaped, 24 returned, 195 of them remain missing.
It is Day 674 of their captivity under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch. It is Day 1074 of our movement’s daily advocacy demanding that the Federal Government discharges its constitutional duty and rescue the abducted girls from terrorist captivity. In another 7 days it will be 3 years since the tragic events of that night.
Tragically, 195 of our young women whose only sin was their quest for knowledge are left by their government to remain in terrorist enclave.
“We are utterly disappointed at the Government of Nigeria’s abysmal handling of this historical tragedy and are at a loss at the obvious emotional disconnect and insincerity that have defined the actions and words of the President and his government on this matter.
None of the commitments made by the government concerning the rescue of our ChibokGirls has been followed through.
“Our movement, BBOG fails to understand why this is so but one thing definite for us is that we shall not stop keeping the President and the administration accountable we remain undeterred in our demand. That is why even though filled with excruciating pain at the protractedness of this tragedy, we have today commenced our 8-Day Global Week of Action with diverse activities to mark 3 years of our ChibokGirls abduction and their continued captivity by terrorists. This tragic third year of Global Week of Action has the theme hash-tagged as : 3YearsTooLong: #NoMoreExcuses.
“We enter the third year of our Girls being left in terrorist captivity with the constant shock that the Presidency which last October (2016 ) told the world that 83 more of our ChibokGirls were on their way out of captivity “very soon”, has since adopted deafening silence as a tool of avoidance of accountability. What reason can the Federal Government have for never providing progress reports on the status of its rescue operation for our Girls? Except for cursory remarks made by the Minister of Information in January , the Federal Government has acted in manner that suggests that rescuing our ChibokGirls is a matter of lowest importance on its agenda. We denounce this posture that is indicative of lack of respect for the dignity of the life of the Nigerian Girl Child of which our ChibokGirls are symbols.
“We also recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on 14 January 2016 authorised the set up of yet another investigation into the abduction . It is extremely pathetic that nothing has come out of that pronouncement. The situation is worsened by the fact that the federal government shockingly denied our Movement’s use of the Freedom of Information (FOI) to request to access the report of the Presidential Committee that investigated into the abduction (General Sabo Committee) in 2014.
“Furthermore, regarding the 24 ChibokGirls that are back, the media reports of sparse information from the government on there wellbeing almost only touches on the 21 it negotiated release. We ask, where are the other 3 ChibokGirls? The poor and rather opaque communication by the FG on its rehabilitation program for the 24 Girls keeps even families in the dark leading to some asking for updates from our movement.
“The Government had woefully disappointed the Nigerian public on the entirety of its shoddy handling of our ChibokGirls and their tragedy. This Global Week of Action is a time that our Movement loudly declares , ‘Enough is Enough’, No More Excuses, Bring Back Our Girls! Now and Alive!! Close to 2 years ago during our Global Week of Action to mark Day 500 of the abduction, our theme was ‘500 Days is too long’. Today, sadly we are reiterating on the third year of the abduction, we have no intention of repeating this. #3YearsTooLong: #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackOurGirls.
“This Global Week of Action shall be marked in cities in Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja), New York, Paris, etc; and shall run for 7 straight days as usual. Kindly view website www.bringbackourgirls.ng to see details and to participate.
In Abuja where activities commenced today with Asr (Islamic) prayers, we shall have duo marches by different sets eminent personalities, celebrities, Chibok mothers, et al from Unity Fountain to the State House every day with the theme #IMarchForChibokGirls.
Other events include treeplanting, a workshop on the Missing Persons Register, an initiative of our movement which is being worked on in collaboration with the federal government and her relevant agencies: the National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria Police Force, and others.
The events will be capped on Friday 14 April with the Inaugural #ChibokGirls Annual Lecture: ‘Where Goes the Girl-Child there Goes the Nation’ to be delivered by His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II CON, a well-recognised advocate for girl-child liberation/ empowerment and education.
The event shall be eminently chair by Professor Grace Alele-Williams, the first Nigerian female to receive a doctoral degree, first Nigerian female professor of mathematics education, and the first female to be a vice chancellor of a university in Africa”.