#BringBackOurGirls Statement: WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY, MR PRESIDENT?

Filed under: National Issues,Press Releases |

INTRODUCTION

Most painfully, today is 1,619 days since school girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok were abducted in their school on April 14, 2014. Of the 219 of the Chibok school girls that were abducted, 107 are back and 112 of their schoolmates remain captives of terrorists. Today is also 212 days since Leah Sharibu was abducted. Leah is the lone Dapchi school girl who was left behind with terrorists,  after the Presidency negotiated release of her 104 colleagues in March 2018. Today is also 202 days since the two surviving  Rann Humanitarian aid workers- Alice Loksha Nggadah and Hauwa Muhammad Liman were abducted. Their third colleague was gruesomely executed by their captors earlier this week. It is for all these our fellow compatriots befallen with multiple tragedies that we address our Protest Statement to, President Muhammadu Buhari.

A1. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PRESIDENT’S PLEDGE TO BRING BACK OUR REMAINING 112 CHIBOK GIRLS?

It is with utter consternation that we point to the visible evidence loudly noticed by the Nigerian public, that President Buhari’s campaign for the 2019 elections has further relegated the tragedy of the continuing captivity of our #ChibokGirls and other victims of terrorism to the background. It is condemnable that the same President who made the abduction of #ChibokGirls the epicenter of his campaign in the 2015 Presidential elections no longer remembers that 112 children of his poor citizens are still languishing in the den of terrorists despite his many pledges to rescue them.

 

 

DEMAND 1

Mr. President, it is time to review your priorities. Your current mandate places a constitutional duty on you to prioritize the security of lives of ALL CITIZENS above personal interest of reelection. Mr President, our #ChibokGirls, Leah Sharibu and the two remaining Rann Women aid workers DESERVE your evident PRIORITIZATION.

A.2 TRUST BETRAYED: CHIBOK GIRLS PARENTS AND BUHARI’S MANY UNFULFILLED PLEDGES.

It is evident to all well-meaning people that the parents of our remaining school girls have all but been pathetically forgotten and abandoned to their fate by the administration of President Buhari. These were the same parents that were promised swift recovery of their daughters by President Buhari when he was on the campaign trail in 2014 and 2015. Our Movement even recalls how in two meetings with our Movement and the abducted girls’ parents after his election, the President asked them to repose their trust in his determination to search for and bring back their daughters. When was the last time the Presidency reached out to their families with any update on the status of efforts to rescue their daughter? Today, 112 households in Chibok grieve daily on the tragedy of their abducted children without any form of information nor closure from the Federal Government.

DEMAND 2

Mr President, fulfill your pledge to rescue the 112 remaining #ChibokGirls NOW!

They must cease to be left by your administration as captives of terrorists. April 2019, must not come without the rescue of our ALL #ChibokGirls.

Mr. President, reach out to the Parents today to give them an update and hope on your effort to rescue their daughters.

B. WHERE IS LEAH SHARIBU?

The same manner of gross neglect and abandonment visited on #ChibokGirls has also been extended to the parents of #LeahSharibu. As a matter of fact, the parents of Leah Sharibu most recently cried out in agony, demanding update from the Presidency on the status of the rescue that President Buhari promised on their daughter. The fact that Leah Sharibu– a Christian —  was the only living #DapchiGirl that the Presidency failed to bring back when it successfully negotiated the release of her 104 school mates abducted from their school in Yobe leaves many troubling questions unanswered. What then explains the morbid and disturbing silence of the Presidency on the status of Leah Sharibu?

 

 

DEMAND 3

* Mr President, where is Leah Sharibu? You must give Leah Sharibu her own JUSTICE of RESCUE that you gave to her 104 schoolmates. Anything short of immediately securing the rescue of Leah and returning her to her parents will be regarded as double-standards on your part, Mr President.

* Mr President, the parents of Leah Sharibu are eagerly and anxiously awaiting a call from you to receive assurances that their daughter has not been forgotten.

C. DID THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY WATCH ON WHILE HUMANITARIAN SAIFURA HUSSAINI AHMED WAS PAID BACK WITH EXECUTION BY TERRORISTS?

In a heartwrenching video clip, released by terrorists in August, three Nigerian humanitarian aid workers who were abducted while providing assistance to our people in IDP camps in Borno, cried out to the President to “do everything possible to rescue us”. They further cried, “We were there for the vulnerable, now we are the vulnerable”. How excruciatingly painful can their plea be to all who have paid attention to their plight?

Yet, our Movement has no evidence that their outcry to our President elicited any response or action from our Government to secure their release. We are therefore, puzzled by the morbid silence,  inaction and absence of fierce urgency of our Federal Government on securing the release of the women. We were shocked like the rest of the world, when evidence was released by their terrorists-captors showing that one of them- Saifura Hussaini Ahmed was EXECUTED in cold-blood a few days ago and a threat issued to do similarly to the other two within the next thirty days. Besides the bland, unconvincing and embarrassing press release that was issued on behalf of President Buhari by an Assistant to the President, what precisely is the Federal Government doing with any sense of urgency to save Alice and Hauwa from their captors?

DEMAND 4.

Mr President, SWIFTLY RESPOND to the plea of Alice and Hauwa and secure their release IMMEDIATELY. Do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to avert any harm to their lives, Mr President.

Mr President, lead an urgent effort to strengthen the security and safety of Humanitarian workers in Nigeria working with the international organizations like the United Nations.

D. DENYING GALLANTRY: WHAT IS THE MOTIVE FOR THE HIDDEN CASUALTIES OF OUR SOLDIERS IN THE FRONTLINE OF BATTLE?

We have frequently condemned the opaqueness in the communicating of the counter-terrorism war by the Federal Government and the Military. The #BringBackOurGirls advocacy has been consistent in voicing the correlation between the wellbeing of our troops, the rescue of our #ChibokGirls and the successful end of the terrorism war.

It is scandalous that the latest trend of the Military High Command (which has President Buhari as Commander-in-Chief), is to perfunctorily bury hundred and tens of our soldiers who were killed in the battlefront. What is even worse is the frequent denial of the deaths of our soldiers by the Military, thus, denying their families the opportunity of closure. We are outraged at how this insensitive approach in handling military casualties, ends up depriving victims and their families, the full honor for gallantry that our nation and people owe them for making the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. The many clandestine burials appear to be motivated by the self-serving desire of the administration to perpetuate the myth that “the terrorists have been successfully defeated”. Nigerians demand an immediate end to this cruel disregard for patriots who gave their lives for the safety and security of the rest of us and our country.

DEMAND 5.

* The military authority should immediately confirm the number of our soldiers that have died within this month of September, 2018. Their families and Nigerians should have a brief on the circumstances of their deaths. The names of our fallen heroes should be released to the Nigerian public as it obtains in other democracies.

*Mr President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, should immediately direct an end to the shoddy burial of our fallen heroes. Direct the Military High Command to cancel all such tardy burials and in their place, conduct full military honors funerals to enable our country and citizens give the due heroes’ recognition to our gallant soldiers who died for us.

* Mr President, all those responsible for ensuring the safety of our troops and military bases but who are found to have failed in their duty should be immediately sanctioned for such failures. More effective measures must now be put in place to prevent further deaths and damage to the morale of our troops.

E. ARE WE FACTUALLY WINNING THE INSECURITY WAR?

There remains a strong sense of general insecurity around the country.

Were Nigerians and indeed the world not told that the military has won the war? What then is the reason for the escalation of attacks by the terrorists and the heightened loss of life of citizens and our soldiers?

Aside from escalation of attacks by insurgents in Borno State and other parts of the North East, there have been killings in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kwara and Kaduna States in recent times. The Nigerian Government owes her citizens transparent disclosure of the true state of affairs in the North East and other flash points across the country. It is critical for democratic accountability that citizens should know.

DEMAND 6.

The Presidency, Federal Government, Military, Police and other Security establishments should IMMEDIATELY present a Public Briefing Session to Nigerians on the State of Security of The Country.  Following this, the Federal Government should institute a monthly counter-terrorism status report to the Nigerian public.

F.  WHAT IS THE STATE AND CONDITION OF OUR IDPS?

Our compatriots who are internally displaced by the crisis especially in the North East, and across the country appear to have been forgotten. Their conditions have continually degenerated thereby, increasing the humanitarian tragedy.

DEMAND 7

1. Mr. President, direct an assessment of the  IDP’s and IDP Camps conditions and accompanying comprehensive strategy for their resettlement and reintegration back into their communities assessed by the Government and the Military to be secure.

2. Design an effective primary health care system and delivery mechanism for women and children in IDP Camps.

3. Design an effective Access to Basic education for children of school age and Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition program for young people and women in the IDP Camps.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we wish to reiterate that our advocacy for the Federal Government to rescue our 112 #ChibokGirls, #LeahSharibu, Alice,  Hauwa and all other abducted persons in the custody of terrorists shall not cease until they are all brought back. Within the coming weeks and months, we shall constantly take actions to press on with our Demands. We shall not give any reprieve to President Buhari until he performs his constitutional duty and fulfills his pledge to the people of Nigeria; to ALWAYS PUT THEIR INTEREST ABOVE HIS OWN.

Get your Priorities right, Mr President!

Signed: For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls

FLORENCE OZOR
AISHA YESUFU
OBY EZEKWESILI

 

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