ABUJA – The Bring Back Our Girls BBOG movement has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to seize the initiative in rescuing the 218 abducted Chibok school girls rather than granting unnecessary powers to the abductors, the Boko Haram sect, by asking them to determine the rescue options.
The movement stated this Tuesday in Abuja during another failed attempt to march on the presidential villa. It said 869 days since the abduction, no evidence of persuasive, deliberate and result- targeted action has been conveyed by the president. President Buhari had on the side-lines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) recently held in Nairobi, Kenya suggested a willingness to swap the girls with Boko Haram fighters preferring that the terrorists engaged an international Non-Governmental Organization in the intermediation process if they so wish.
"If they (the terrorists) do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognized Non-Governmental Organization, convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know”, Mr Buhari had stated.
However, the BBOG said it was at a loss as to why terrorists have to determine the process for rescue. It lamented the current situation whereby it appears the president now heavily relies on media reports to gather intelligence about the terrorists.
In the address, jointly signed by its leaders, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, BBOG said; “We fail to understand why our Federal Government is giving so much powers to determine process and first mover actions to the terrorists. We have always maintained that the President has the powers to assemble all relevant intelligence assets required for determining the best action in terms of lowest risk option. Many countries with superior capabilities have indicated willingness to help our Government gather security and intelligence assets on this and other related North East challenges. We were therefore extremely shocked to read Mr. President state, that ‘some of the information about the division in Boko Haram is already in the press and I have read it in the papers about the conflict in their leadership’.
Are we right to conclude from that statement that our President merely relies on newspaper reports like the rest of the Nigerian public for information on such an important and monumental tragedy? This is a grave basis for concern to our movement. “So, while we welcome the statement, we counter that it sounds too tentative and lacking of the conviction, decisiveness, strong ownership, and urgent actions required to #BringBackOurGirls. This tragedy must no longer be allowed to linger any further! It is time to act with the fiercest urgency and the authority that must lead this action is our President, Commander – in-Chief – of-the-Armed-Forces”.