By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Bring Back Our Girls Group, (BBOG) Friday, expressed its disappointment with the way and manner President Muhammadu Buhari was handling the issue of the Chibok girls who were abducted in more than 816 days ago.
The group, in its One Year Engagement with the President commemoration, urged the President to do away with empty talks and match his words with actions.
Speaking to THISDAY exclusively on behalf of the group, Aisha Yesufu, one of the leading members the group, said, “Absolutely, as members of BBOG, we are very, very disappointed with the fact that everything is coming out so sluggishly and so slowly.”
Amina at the event to mark exactly one year of BBOG engagement with President Muhammadu Buhari, held at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, said, “Well, I wondered what is it that is holding the President that after one year, he had not made any move for the rescue of these girls. Because, he needs to make something decisive because, the last time we heard the President, December 2015, coming out to say that he doesn’t have the credible Intel about the whereabouts of our Chibok girls.
“This is absurd because, Amina was rescued, I mean found rather on May 17th, 2016 and as far as we are concerned, she is the one that can give the most credible intelligence that is available and she did mention that her sisters are there and waiting to be rescued. So, it is disappointing for the fact that the President has not been able to seize this and about to use this after debriefing Amina.”
According to Aisha, “I heard today that the President is talking about a committee and this committee is not all about saying that, oh, we even have the names but, a committee that was set up almost six months ago, January 14th, to be precise. From the presidency, they can come out to say they want to set up a committee. They might have all the time in the world but, our Chibok girls don’t have all the time in the world. All those that are suffering out of the act of the insurgency do not have all the time in the world and we need the needful to be done immediately.
“Whatever intelligence they would have been able to get from Amina to rescue her sisters who are waiting there and today 816 days and they have been in captivity. So, I think the President should not just say words but, his words need to match actions”, she said.
If he says that the war with Boko Haram is not won without the Chibok girls and all other abductees, then, he should ensure that, that is the reality of it all and not just about words that should be thrown about because, there are girls who are waiting to be brought back home and a lot of abductees who we don’t even know their numbers to be brought back home.
When asked on the issue of the malnourished children at the Bama Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, Aisha advised various agencies handling the humanitarian aid to work together.
She said: “Well for me, what I need to say basically is that all agencies should stop the blame games and get to work and know that we have a humanitarian crisis and over a year, the Bring Back our Girls (BBOG) has been calling on the government and telling them that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) issue, indeed if you don’t take care of it, it’s going to get blown over on our face, it’s going to be a tragic thing if we don’t manage it properly. Unfortunately, that is what we are seeing now. So, my own take on this issue is that, the blame game should be stopped, the needful should be done, they should sit down together and begin to look at it.
“A system should be out there and should know what is going on. There should be co-ordinations amongst the agencies that are responsible for the IDPs. Like I said earlier, a team that came from Mr. President went out there, they were meeting with the military and I think at that point, they were not the ones that were supposed to have spoken to them because, the military is not directly involved in the affairs of the IDPs. Theirs is to do rescue and hand over and that is about it. There are other agencies that are supposed to take over and that is the NEMA and SEMA. The Borno State Governor should stand up and do the needful and take care of the citizens over there”.
She however urged the parents of the missing Chibok girls to be hopeful and prayerful saying that they were not forgotten.
“My message to the Chibok girls first of all is that, we are so sorry that we fail them, we are so sorry that we didn’t do the needful. We are so sorry that we didn’t bring them back home, 816 day’s but, they should remember that they are citizens of Nigeria that, every day we are demanding for their rescue and we will not stop.
“For the parents, yes; we tell them that we will never give up. Though, we know that Nigeria is a country, where when one is poor, one is faceless, nameless and voiceless. We will continue to be their voices because we are all sisters and injustice to one is injustice to all and the fact that we didn’t bare them from our womb doesn’t mean they are not our daughters, they are our daughters and we will continue to cry to them and for the government, we will like to tell them on this day that, honestly, we should be ashamed of ours that after, 218 days of ours in captivity, they are still out there waiting to be brought back home and no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any Nigeria and that our Chibok girls need to be brought back home. It’s not a privilege but their right as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” said Aisha.