The Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group, BBOG, has frowned at the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that the Boko Haram terrorists should determine the process of the that would lead to the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
The BBOG, which stated this on Tuesday after another failed attempt to march on the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa, said President Muhammadu Buhari must seize the initiative in rescuing the 218 abducted Chibok school girls rather than granting unnecessary powers to the abductors, the Boko Haram sect, by asking them to determine the rescue options.
It would be recalled that the president had, in Nairobi, Kenya, the government was willing to swap the girls with Boko Haram fighters, adding that the terrorists could engage an international Non-Governmental Organization in the intermediation process if they so wish.
“If they (the terrorists) do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognized Non-Governmental Organization, convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know”, Buhari said in Nairobi.
The BBOG, however insisted it was baffled that the terrorists would have to be the ones to determine the process for the rescue of the girls.
According to them, the current situation depicts the president was currently depending heavily on media reports for intelligence on the terrorists.
The BBOG, in an address jointly signed by Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, said: “We fail to understand why our Federal Government is giving so much powers to determine process and first mover actions to the terrorists. We have always maintained that the President has the powers to assemble all relevant intelligence assets required for determining the best action in terms of lowest risk option.
“Many countries with superior capabilities have indicated willingness to help our Government gather security and intelligence assets on this and other related North East challenges. We were therefore extremely shocked to read Mr. President state, that ‘some of the information about the division in Boko Haram is already in the press and I have read it in the papers about the conflict in their leadership’.
“Are we right to conclude from that statement that our President merely relies on newspaper reports like the rest of the Nigerian public for information on such an important and monumental tragedy? This is a grave basis for concern to our movement.
“So, while we welcome the statement, we counter that it sounds too tentative and lacking of the conviction, decisiveness, strong ownership, and urgent actions required to #BringBackOurGirls. This tragedy must no longer be allowed to linger any further! It is time to act with the fiercest urgency and the authority that must lead this action is our President, Commander – in-Chief – of-the-Armed-Forces”.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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