Monthly Monitoring Report for July 2016

Monthly Monitoring Report for July 2016

14th July 2016
Today is 27 months to the sad day in April 2014 when our #ChibokGirls were abducted from their dormitories in Government Secondary School, Chibok. 822 Days later 218 girls remain in captivity. We present this as part of our monthly monitoring of the efforts to rescue our girls and bring an end to the Boko Haram Insurgency.
In a continuation of recent trends, the last month marked the liberation of thousands of our citizens and the opening up of more access routes. We also recorded a declining number of insurgent attacks within our shores and witnessed peaceful Eid celebrations in the capitals of the North East for the first time in over five (5) years. We continue to commend our security forces for these successes which have inspired renewed hope and conviction in the capacity of our troops to #BringBackOurGirls and ensure an end to the insurgency.
Sadly however, the period brought to light the scale of humanitarian crisis in the North East occasioned by acute malnutrition among children and adults, and the real threat to survival of an entire generation of our people. Nothing reinforces our repeated call for urgency and a more visible, deliberate and result-based humanitarian response to the insurgency than this submission from a July 8th statement by the UN Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Toby Lanzer
“A failure to act now will result in deeper and broader suffering, unlike any seen to date in Nigeria’s North East and a steeper bill for all concerned to alleviate suffering and stabilize the situation.”
We shudder at the possibility of more suffering for our fellow citizens in the North East, especially knowing what they have been through in the last few years.
A few days ago, the Presidency released a statement in response to our assessment of the period since our engagement with the President in July 2015. We regretfully note the misrepresentations of our movement as being insensitive to the loss of lives and livelihoods of other Nigerians as well as the plight of those facing the humanitarian tragedy. We absolutely reject this false labelling and take this opportunity to restate our contributions so far.
Since the abduction of our girls we have led several initiatives, often times in advance of government. We crowdsourced the “Citizens’ Solution to End Terrorism” early on and highlighted the need for improved military welfare and a comprehensive de-radicalization program, among others. We anticipated the need for a system of handling the movement of affected communities and designed both the Verification, Authentication and Reunification System (VARS) and modalities for a Missing Persons’ Register. We mobilized relief materials and campaigned on behalf of the Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees in neighbouring countries, going on to warn of an impending humanitarian tragedy for many months before any action began.
We have sought to collaborate with all arms of government at different levels. Our engagement with the Judiciary, first through the Supreme Court and later the Attorney General of the Federation were geared towards pressing on the need for a dogged prosecution of corruption offences in light of its causal effects on the deaths of scores of our citizens, and urging pardons for soldiers accused of mutiny despite deliberately being left under-armed.
With different tiers of the executive, we have offered not only direction but the investment of our time in making decisive progress. But while progress is being made in our collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the same could not be said of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). We still persist, because we understand the impact of an inefficient and uncoordinated response on the plight of our people.
In anticipation of the need for a humanitarian response, we not only joined in on the conversations at the Legislature but developed a comprehensive options note containing three different delivery approaches that are drawn from global best practice. But we did not stop there. We went further to submit a copy of the Note to the Presidency and reiterated the need for urgency in adopting a position and driving it immediately.
To therefore suggest that we do not value the lives of other Nigerians or have hinged to prominent names is to be extremely economical with the truth, especially since it is as a result of governance failures that the names of other citizens are missing. The most disappointing part of the release is the deliberate attempt at pitching citizens against our movement by feigning ignorance of these contributions which are documented to be in the knowledge of the Presidency, some for at least a year since our engagement in July 2015.
We mince no words in reiterating our position that none of our five demands from that engagement have been completed. We crave nothing more than for these questions to be answered in the affirmative

  • Do we now have a system of citizen documentation as would have been achieved by VARS or a comprehensive database of missing persons in place?


  • Do we now have a publically accessible accountability matrix that defines the protocol for obtaining and sharing information with citizens?


  • Has there been a commission of inquiry on the abduction and/or the rescue efforts?


  • Have the reports of the Presidential Fact Finding Committee of the Chibok Girls and the Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North East been made public?


  • Is there a publically acknowledged, holistic process of proper sensitization and enlightenment to curb this trend of youth radicalization and extremism?

We look forward to a response to these specific demands.
We firmly stand by our statement, but also note the call for collaboration in the press release. While we have never stopped engaging with partners and government agencies towards finding sustainable solutions, we welcome the re-opening of collaboration by the President and take this opportunity to once again indicate our intention to re-engage this administration in the coming days, towards establishing a working relationship with relevant stakeholders.
We urge the President to draw on the strength of our people through open communication and collaboration to resolve this and many of the other issues affecting our country.
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls

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