#BringBackOurGirls Statement On the self-professed Chibok girl suicide bomber
26 March 2016
We received news yesterday Friday 25 March, of an arrested girl-child suicide bomber in Cameroon who identified herself as one of our abducted Chibok girls.
We are presently unable to respond to this news conclusively until we have facts from the Nigerian government; from whom we requested and have eagerly been awaiting official information on the matter.
In the interim however, our thoughts are as follows:
i. The claim by the young woman that she is a Chibok girl should reawaken the Nigerian government to the zeal and commitment necessary for ensuring that they are rescued and brought back;
ii. This development suggests that we now have a possible source of credible intelligence as to what transpired, where the others are, and other leads required to facilitate their rescue.
2. Regardless of whether she is one of our Chibok girls or not, our thoughts and sentiments remain the same:
i. using children, girls who should be in school (or any humans at all) as suicide bombers is not only tragic and cruel, it is completely reprehensible and we denounce it;
ii. these children suicide bomber are themselves victims, and must be seen and treated as such;
iii. we all must hasten to free all those in captivity. For as long as they are with the monsters, we all are ourselves unsafe and equally in captivity;
iv. a few weeks ago, a girl suicide bomber did not detonate her device at an IDP camp because she knew her family was most likely in that camp, and she could not kill them.
It is important to send out messages that counter the programming of the terrorists. This may help in empowering these victims from detonating the explosives and accessing help;
v. this particular experience highlights the importance of building not only a regional coalition among neighbouring countries to counter terror, but a global one.
3. The Nigerian government as a matter of urgency, needs to swiftly act to ascertain the facts of this matter and make them public. It is getting to 24 hours since the news broke.
We need to know her name and identity, her parents’ names, where she is from, possibly extract DNA samples for quick testing and matching, etc.
4. This should be a wakeup call to the Nigerian government to adopt and utilise our citizens-developed tool the Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) designed by our movement for such scenarios as these. This tool was accepted by the federal government on 8 July 2015 during our meeting with the president, but has not been deployed.
Likewise, the Missing Persons Register which would have been useful in tracking this young victim in order to commence her rehabilitation, reunification, and reintegration process with her family and community.
WE ARE EAGERLY WAITING.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls
HADIZA BALA USMAN