News / Africa

    Nigeria: Chibok Girls Parents Unhappy After Meeting Buhari

    Parents of the Chibok girls attend a meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, Jan. 14, 2016.
    Parents of the Chibok girls attend a meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, Jan. 14, 2016.
    James Butty

    A spokeswoman for the Bring Back Our Girls movement in Nigeria has again said it is the duty of the Nigerian government to rescue the Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity, regardless which political party is in power.

    Aisha Yesufu said liberating the girls is not a privilege but a constitutional right that the Nigerian government must fulfill.

    The Islamist extremist group kidnapped more than 270 girls from a boarding school in Chibok, northern Nigeria in April 2014.

    On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari met with about 300 parents and sympathizers of the girls, and promised he will launch a new inquiry into the circumstances leading to the kidnapping. 

    But the parents left the meeting feeling less optimistic that the government would do whatever is necessary to liberate the girls, Yesufu said.

    “First of all, the president failed to make any connection with the parents of the girls who today have spent 21 months since they were abducted.  There was no personal connection. The president finished his talk at the microphone and walked out. That was an opportunity for us as a nation to connect with the parents and after that apologize to them for what has happened and make them feel that they are not alone in this whole tragedy that has befallen them,” she said.         

    Yesufu said Buhari basically reiterate what he had said earlier, that he had no credible intelligence on the whereabouts of the Chibok girls and that he is still waiting for the credible leadership of the Boko Haram group to come meet him and negotiate their release.

    “Also, there were so many things that he did mention, the fact that the fight against terrorism that he has embarked on should be appreciated; and also that the Chibok girls were not abducted during his regime. They were abducted during the previous regime,” she said.

    But Yesufu said whoever is president of Nigeria is responsible for rescuing the Chibok girls.

    “First of all, there is no vacuum in the governance irrespective of during whose administration the girls were abducted. It is the duty of the Nigerian government to ensure that the Chibok girls are rescued, and whoever is head of the Nigerian government is responsible for the rescue of the Chibok girls,” Yesufu said.

    She said Buhari also told the parents that his government is fighting a war on corruption, and that a lot of money that was supposed to be used to arm the military in the fight against Boko Haram went into the hands of individuals and that his government is trying to recover the stolen money.

    Yesufu said the Bring Back Our Girls movement will continue to agitate until the girls are released.

    “We will not allow Nigerians, we will not allow the government to forget the girls or treat the demand for their release as an irritating issue. We will focus on it, and we will keep calling on the government to ensure that the girls are brought back home. It doesn’t matter during what administration the Chibok girls were abducted. All that matters is that the Nigerian government must rescue the girls, and in doing so must realize that they are not doing the Chibok girls a privilege by rescuing them,” she said.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    January 15, 2016 1:53 PM
    Nigerians, since the doubtful/skeptical days of president Jonathan’s whether the kidnap saga was opposition political maneuvering, to when he made it socio-political-cum-diplomatic issue that some schoolgirls were abducted at Chibok, it’s been lots of questions, few answers. Questions range from the actual number of girls abducted to the number of parents owning up to those girls to those that purportedly escaped before/during/after the kidnap how they pulled-off the escape and what useful information they have given that can be of any help to rescuing the remaining girls.

    All these are shrouded in some form of secrecy that haven’t helped matters in anyway. But the most nagging question now is, of all the rescues since boko-haram has been “technically defeat” and on the run, no single Chibok schoolgirl is among, has boko-haram all the time in the world to escape, all the time, with these girls? Unless these girls are all dead, stowed away in a sacred-cow compound in Nigeria or otherwise crossed the border into one of Nigeria’s “allies” in the fight against terror, it’s unbelievable hope-against-hope! As for president Buhari, think Nigerians are mistaken trusting him. If the girls aren’t in his house, then let’s forget it.

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