Eight hundred days after the abduction of 276 secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno state, the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy group has said Nigeria cannot continue to carry on, pretending that all was well with the country. However, 57 of the girls escaped during the period, leaving 219 unrecovered.
The group stated this yesterday at a special sit-out to commemorate the 800 day of the abduction of the girls. They berated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for being tall on promises and short on delivery. “It is such a depressing day today. Honestly, how did this get to 800 days? Our children need to be brought back and reunited with their families. We cannot move on and pretend that all is okay.
They have to know that we have not forgotten them, that we have not moved on with life and that they are still in our hearts”, said Aisha Yesufu, co-leader of the group. Since the abduction in 2014, only one of the girls, Amina Ali Nkeki had recently been found. The group expressed hope that if one of the girls have been found, “surely, the remaining 218 can be found”. Buharists can’t silence us The group also took exception to the activities of some supporters of the present administration who had continued to cast aspersions on its activities.
In her reaction, co-leader of the group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili said the BBOG is administration-blind. “It is unfortunate that there are those who continue to mock our Chibok Girls. And when you see them, you would know them. Many of them started with us but now feel that we have to keep quiet because there is a new administration. What are we demanding? Bring back our girls. Our aspiration is administration-blind and we shall not be cowed into silence”, she said. Buhari has three rescue options Ezekwesili also added that the issue of rescuing the girls cannot be an open-ended matter without a timeframe. According to her, government has three options to pick from.
“The first option is dialogue. The second option is military force and the third is the combination of the two”, she said. According to her; “The rescue of Amina Ali was an important occurrence in our advocacy because her coming back rekindled our hope but we are adamant not to confuse the rescue of a single girl to the rescue of the remaining girls. “Our Chibok girls represent a symbol of good governance or lack of it. Our government should demonstrate that good governance by not dropping the ball after the rescue of Amina. “We demand that our Chibok girls should be priority and we would not allow any form of coldness from the government. ”
Also, in a statement jointly signed by Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, the group outlined various demands including wanting to know the status of rescued Ms Nkeki. “What plan has been made for her eventual return to complete her education? “What is the status of Mohammed Hayyatu. Where is he at this time and what plans does the federal government have for him? He must be charged and prosecuted for the criminal charge of abduction and rape of Nkeki”, the group demanded.