#BringBackOurGirls Statement Mr. President: No More Delays. The Time to Decide and Act is NOW!
25 August 2016
It is seventy-two hours since our march was truncated by the Nigerian Police and after monitoring the response to our demands, we return to re-engage with the President.
We begin with sadness over reports of an attack on Shawa Village of Askira Uba Local Government in Borno State. We acknowledge the courage and gallantry of out soldiers in the frontlines, the Multi National Joint Task Force, and the Civilian JTF, and urge them to remain resilient in the face of attacks as these. Their labour and sacrifice shall never be in vain. The opening of a Nigerian Air Force mobile clinic in Bama, the only functional healthcare center in the area is highly applauded.
However, reports regrettably show our troops at the frontlines complained about their salaries and emoluments. This they say is weakening their morale in the fight against insurgency as the food they are fed, is in no way better than that served prisoners. This is unacceptable and we call for an investigation.
At this time of immense sacrifice from our troops on the frontline, it is important to prioritise their welfare and needs, ensuring that they have no cause to complain or worry about basic needs as they serve their nation to rout out the insurgents.
We also acknowledge the directive to the Vice President to lead an inter-ministerial team and quickly review acute malnutrition in the North East. While this starts to address one of our specific demands, we reiterate that our request for a “Special Envoy” is on the premise that the role will cover a wider scope of duties including mobilizing the private sector, Nigerian public, and the International Community.
Reports from former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon after a meeting with Mr. President suggest that the Federal Government’s position remains a “lack of credible intelligence”. Coming over seven (7) months since our engagement with Mr. President on January 14th, and considering the lack of feedback on rescue efforts, this strengthens the position that there has been no focused, coherent and consistent operation to rescue our #ChibokGirls.
Having submitted four cogent reasons why it could not be said that there is a “lack of credible intelligence” during our meeting in January, and the three further reasons just three days ago, the discussion must shift from “credible intelligence” to “political will” to decide on a line of action, and act!. This is especially so because Mr. President acknowledged the level of first-person intelligence that was to be obtained from the debrief of our #ChibokGirl, Amina Ali, while receiving her in May.
Today, Day 864 since the abduction of our girls, time has completely run out. It is time to take decisive action and bring them home! NO MORE DELAYS!!!
Another key issue in the last seventy two hours is the military’s announcement that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau was fatally wounded during air raids. We want it on record that this is at least the fourth time the Nigerian state has triumphantly announced killing this fellow.
It is pertinent to note that when we came out in the rain on 30 April 2014, following the abduction of our girls on 14 April 2014, it was out of our shared humanity. Human beings like us had been taken away from their school. Schoolgirls whose only crime was that they sought an education. We could not sit and let our humanity be debased. As our convictions were on that day, so are they now, and stronger.
The second reason was our clear understanding of the social contract between government and citizens. The primary duty of government being security and welfare of the citizens. We came out to address the failure of governance that enabled the abduction to take place in the first place, and prevented them from being rescued within 72 hours of the abduction. For this same reason we keep advocating against the failure of governance that has kept them in captivity for 864 days today.
Our advocacy has remained focused, issues-based, and consistent. It has remained administration-neutral. And while governments may come and go, we have vowed that as long as our girls are not back we remain committed to the cause.
So we restate our SPECIFIC DEMANDS to Mr President
That Mr. President should swiftly make a firm decision for their immediate rescue based on the three available options.
1. Military operation
2. Negotiation with the terrorists.
3. Combination of 1 and 2.
Mr. President must assess the wealth of information and state resources available to pursue a lowest risk option of these three.
That Mr. President addresses Nigerians on his rescue plan and timelines of our #ChibokGirls.
That Mr. President immediately constitutes a #ChibokGirls Rescue Operation Monitoring Team made up of representatives of Federal Government, parents of #ChibokGirls, KADA (the Chibok community), and #BringBackOurGirls. This multi-stakeholders platform should act as a transparent mechanism for feedback on evidence of Mr. President’s sustained action towards bringing back OUR #ChibokGirls.
Mr. President should immediately preside over National Emergency in the North East Conference to articulate a cohesive response plan to the Humanitarian Crisis and designate a “Special Envoy” responsible for the inter-agency collaborative work required, as well as mobilize the private sector, Nigerian public, and the international community.
That Mr. President directs the Attorney-General and EFCC to set up Special Desk with the responsibility for fast-tracking the trials of the arms procurement fund and providing regular updates. We reject any suspension or termination of any of the trials without reaching a legal conclusion.
That the Chief Justice of Nigeria prioritises the trials of all counter-insurgency related corruption cases. Cases should be placed on fast-track with no long adjournments.
Mr. President must NOW exercise firm and dedicated leadership on rescuing OUR #ChibokGirls just as he would do, were the girls his own daughters.
As Nigerians, we join their parents in saying #NoMoreDelays.
Mr. President, NO MORE EXCUSES.
Mr. President, NO MORE PREVARICATIONS.
Mr. President, NO MORE ASSURANCES WITHOUT FOCUSED ACTION.
Mr. President, WE WANT ACTION AND RESULTS!
Mr. President, DECIDE NOW!
Mr. President, ACT NOW!
Mr. President, IT IS TIME TO BRING BACK OUR CHIBOK GIRLS AND ALL OTHER CITIZENS WHOSE IDENTITY WE DO NOT KNOW BUT ARE WITH THE TERRORISTS!
Above all, Mr. President, WE WANT ACTION AND RESULTS NOW!!!
We will monitor the response of Mr. President and return on a march to the Villa after seventy two (72) working hours unless persuasive actions become evident to all.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls