- Demand speedy trial of those indicted by arms procurement probe
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Bring Back Our Girls Campaign group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten the trial of those indicted by the arms procurement probe panel even as it urged him to negotiate with Boko Haram terrorists for the release of the kidnapped Chibok Government Secondary School girls.
The group, who spoke in Abuja while on a protest to press the president to double his efforts to rescue the girls, also asked the president to set up a ‘special desk’ to fast-tracking the trial of the suspects in the diversion of arm procurement funds.
BBOG’s Spokesperson, Aisha Yesufu while addressing protesters at the main entrance to the Three Arms Zone in Abuja called on the president to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and anti-graft agencies to set up the desk.
She said the desk would among other things provide regular updates on the trials of those indicted in the arms probe so that Nigerians would understand the progress made so far.
She said: “There are two other issues of deep concern to our movement. First; what we consider a slow, ineffectual response to the tragedy in the Internationally Displaced Person camps in the north east and the prosecution of corrupt cases associated with counter insurgency war of government.
“In the light of the revelation of diversion of funds, which should have early in the crises helped to avert this disaster, we call for a deliberate hastening of the trials and conviction of guilty persons within legal provisions. This is the only way we can bring justice to our fellow citizens whose human and materials loses cannot even begin to be estimated.
“We reject any suspension of the trials without reaching a logical conclusion.”
The group also called on the president to as a matter of urgency take decision for the immediate rescue of the remaining 218 girls, using the following options: military operations, negotiation with the terrorists and a combination of both.
“With all the information available, the president must pursue the lowest risk option of this three,” the group said.
It called for an address by the president on the rescue plan of the Chibok girls, not later than today.
The BBOG also demanded that government sets up a Chibok rescue operation monitoring team, made up of representatives of federal government, parents of Chibok girls, KADA community where Chibok village is located and#BringBackOurGirls group.
It said it was necessary for government to 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.
The group also called on government to mobilise the private and public sector, as well as the international community towards addressing the humanitarian crisis caused by the menace in the north east region.
“It is unacceptable that continuous calls for the humanitarian community and relief organisations for a deliberate and urgent response to the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the north east have so far met utter silence.
“Mr. President no leader in the 21st century should be silent in the face of imminent death for what has been estimated as about 500, 000 of its citizens, especially with the images and abundance of evidence of this possibility.”