The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, yesterday, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of deceiving the parents of the kidnapped Chibok girls and the entire Chibok community after he made the abduction of the girls a major issue with a promise to secure their release during the electioneering of 2015
The accusation came same day, it was disclosed that no fewer than 20 of the Chibok parents whose daughters were still in captivity have died as a result of trauma. The movement alleged that Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) exploited the controversies that trailed the abduction of the schoolgirls and whipped up sentiments that contributed to their electoral victory four years ago. In a ceremony held at the Unity Fountain, Abuja to commemorate the 5th year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls and the 3rd Annual Chibok Girls Lecture, the leadership of BBOG said the present administration had failed to justify the deafening silence it has shown to the plight of the 112 girls who are still missing. In a statement jointly signed by Florence Ozor, Gapani Yanga and Nifemi Onifade, the movement stated that the five years which the parents of the missing girls have had to live in agony was shame of the nation.
“For these parents, they feel that our country let down their daughters by failing to uphold their right to freedom and life. For these parents, the worst is that the current administration, which while in opposition, promised to dignify them and their daughters by taking speedy actions of rescue and keeping them abreast of developments. This is, indeed, the shame of a nation, the shame of leadership that has failed the citizens who have every right to the constitutional duties of government to guarantee their safety and security.
“Today, five years after, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has persisted to deny #Chibokgirls and their parents the speedy action of rescue promised. Even worse, it has denied them the simple and basic respect of providing updates on the status of the Federal Government’s effort, if any at all, to rescue them. It is condemnable that the same President, who made the abduction of #ChibokGirls the epicenter of his campaign in the 2015 Presidential election, 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,” they said.
Aisha Abubakar, one of the activists who spoke at the ceremony, said that so far, about 20 Chibok parents have died in the last five years mostly due to trauma related causes. She accused the Federal Government of being insensitive to the plight of the families of the Chibok girls whose daughters were still in captivity. Abubakar recalled that on assuming power in 2015, Buhari’s administration prioritised the safe return of the girls, but later abandoned the project, leaving the parents and the entire Chibok community in the lurch.
“We were very excited about the 21 girls released in 2016. In 2017, 82 girls returned home from captivity. In return, the government freed five Boko Haram commanders. Aside from this, nothing more has come out of the government’s efforts to reunite the remaining 112 Chibok girls with their loved ones, not up until Mr. President’s remembrance tweets this morning for the Chibok girls. “We experienced a similar incident when the Dapchi girls were abducted. Thankfully, all of them, except one, have been returned.
What about Leah Sharibu? What is the government doing about her? The parents of these girls are going through what words can’t even express,” she said. Leaders of the Chibok community who were also present at the event said that Chibok has remained unsafe for human habitation, as the Boko Haram terrorists have sustained their bloody attacks on all the villages around the area. Chairman of Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA), Mr. Dauda Iliya said that despite the presence of the military in some of the communities, the terrorists have sustained their attacks, making life unbearable for the inhabitants of these communities. Iliya, who urged government to scale up action and ensure that the remaining girls were released, also pleaded on behalf of the community for support by providing them with relief materials. He noted that 11 communities that made up Kibaku, also known as Chibok had been deserted, while those who were left behind were facing great dangers, both from the terrorists and poor livelihood.