#BringBackOurGirls Statement Mr. President: The Time to Decide and Act is NOW!
22nd August 2016
We begin with an acknowledgement of our soldiers, the Multi National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF. The bravery and resilience of these gallant men, at the front lines, has led to the return of thousands of our citizens who hitherto were never declared missing or unaccounted for. It is the successes of these often uncelebrated heroes that has brought us to the imminent return of our #ChibokGirls.
Today, 861 Days since the abduction of our girls, time has completely run out. It is time to Decide, Act and bring them home! NO MORE DELAYS!!!
Since Mr. President’s last public statement on the missing source of credible and actionable intelligence to #BringBackOurGirls during our visit of January 14th 2016, three (3) successive opportunity windows mean we cannot continue to put off a decision on their rescue.
When the “proof of life” video (released by CNN on 14th April 2016) was dismissed on the premise that the authenticity of the source could not be ascertained, we charged that every source of intelligence must be treated as actionable, an authentication process adopted and leads pursued to logical conclusions. This however did not happen.
The return of our #ChibokGirl, Amina Ali on May 18th 2016, her revelations and details of the state of our girls, provided a source of first-person intelligence which should have inspired decisive action. Again, this did not materialize.
The release of the “plea for rescue” video on August 14th 2016 and its corroboration of Amina’s revelations must now be the final part of the decision-making requirements.
Today, we have as much information to take a decision as may ever be possible. Three (3) options are available for the rescue of our #ChibokGirls – the use of military force, negotiation of release or a combination of both. We acknowledge that each option comes with inherent risks, but also understand that the Nigerian State has all the capabilities to assess these risks and adopt a best solution to #BringBackOurGirls.
We believe that to improve the probability of success in the pursuit of options of rescue, our Federal Government would need the capabilities and experiences of our international friends. We therefore call on President Barack Obama of the United States, Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, President Hollande of France, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, in particular to support Nigeria with all their military and intelligence assets to rescue or secure the release of OUR #ChibokGirls. Chibok Girls are Global Citizens and their non-rescue is a big blot on our global civilization as represented by the leadership of these nations and other members of the United Nations. We call on all these global leaders to help Bring Back Our Girls and defend our shared humanity.
President Muhammadu Buhari cannot anymore be unclear on what decision to make on the option to pursue for their rescue. We reject the recurrent excuses by Mr. President that the Federal Government does not know which faction of the splintered terrorist group it should engage in negotiations. Our Federal Government must never again sound incapable of intelligence and negotiation expertise.
We demand that our President immediately leads his military and intelligence team to make a decision and swiftly pursue the lowest risk option out of the three possibilities. We caution against a repeat of the bureaucratic inertia and inter-agency squabbles that have paralyzed a mandatory coordinated, coherent, target, focused and sustained engagement for ending this tragedy.
There are two other issues of deep concern to our Movement. The first is what we consider a slow and ineffectual response to the tragedy in the Internally Displaced Peoples’ camps in the North East and Reconstruction of communities for return of the dislocated. The second is the prosecution of corrupt cases associated with the counter insurgency war of the Federal Government.
It is unacceptable that continuous calls from the humanitarian community and relief organizations for a deliberate and urgent response to the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the North East have so far met utter silence. Mr. President, no leader in the 21st Century should be silent in the face of imminent death for what has been estimated as about 500,000 of its citizens, especially with the images and abundance of evidence of this possibility.
In light of revelations of diversion of arms procurement funds which should have early on in the crisis helped to avert this disaster, we call for a deliberate hastening of the trials and conviction of guilty persons, within legal provisions. This is the only way we can begin to bring justice to our fellow citizens whose human and material loses cannot even begin to be estimated.
Here are our SPECIFIC DEMANDS;
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. With all the information available, the President must pursue the lowest risk option of these three.
That Mr. President addresses Nigerians on his Rescue Plan and Timelines of our #ChibokGirls TODAY.
That Mr. President immediately constitutes a #ChibokGirls Rescue Operation Monitoring Team made up of representatives of Federal Government, Parents of Chibok Girls, KADA 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 direct 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 the Federation prioritizes 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!!!
In conclusion, our Movement shall monitor the response of Mr. President and shall return on a march to the Villa every seventy two (72) hours until persuasive actions become evident to all. This is especially necessary because, so far, our one-week monitoring effort has not revealed empirical evidence that actions are being taken since the “plea for rescue” video was released on Sunday August 14th.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls