STATEMENT BY UNIVERSITY LECTURERS

Filed under: Letters |

Hannah Solomon Yusuf, wife of Solomon Yusuf one of the Unimaid Lecturer that was abducted by Boko Haram

 

NOVEMBER 14, 2017

Gentlemen of the Press,

On July 25, 2017 a catastrophic incident happened near Magumeri in Borno State. A team obtaining samples for hydrocarbon exploration in the Chad Basin was attacked by insurgents. Over seventy lives were lost in the tragic encounter and three members of the team from the University of Maiduguri – Dr Solomon N. Yusuf, Mr Yusuf Ibrahim and Mr Haruna Dashe were abducted.

On September 4, 2017 a handwritten letter by Dr Solomon Yusuf surfaced, wherein he stated that he and the other two men were being held by the Abu Mus’ab Albarnawi faction of Boko Haram. He pleaded with the Federal Government to meet the demand of their captors. In his words: “The government should please continue negotiating with the present contact given to them by the University of Maiduguri, as a means of contacting soldiers of Khalifa under the leadership of Abu Mus’ab Albarnawi. We plead with the government to treat our freedom with all sense of urgency and sympathy so that we can be reunited with our families. The use of force is a serious threat to our lives.”

Since then the Federal Government has repeatedly stated that it would do everything to secure their freedom within the shortest possible time. We wish to remind President Mohammadu Buhari, that today , November 14, 2017, Dr Solomon Yusuf and Messrs Yusuf Ibrahim and Haruna Dashe have been in captivity for 112 days. As their professional colleagues, we are very anxious about their safety as government has not been forthcoming about the status of the alleged negotiations, or he condition of the captives. Every day these helpless men remain the hands of their captives, the risk factor continues to increase.

We wish to remind Mr President that these gentlemen now in the hands of insurgents were abducted while on a national assignment. It would amount to a betrayal if there is no tangible evidence of efforts being undertaken to secure their release. We recall that during the October 1st Independence Day Anniversary speech, the president did not make any mention of the fate of Dr Yusuf and Messrs Ibrahim and Dashe. There was no acknowledgement of even the service they were rendering to the country when they were abducted. This ominous silence has only served to heighten our anxiety. We do not even want to imagine how their family members would be feeling.

We therefore seize this opportunity to demand that this unwholesome silence should not continue. Government owes it a duty to intimate at least the direct families of these gentlemen about what is really going on. Consequently, we demand that a suitable team from the Federal Government should immediately meet with the family members of the captives and explain the true situation of the negotiations. The team should be charged with regularly briefing the families on the progress being made the Federal Government to secure the release of the three men.

As their colleagues, the least we can do is to insist for their safe return. We call on all people of goodwill, including the University community and especially the media, to sustain and amplify this demand for the quick negotiated release of Dr Yusuf and Messrs Ibrahim and Dashe.

 

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