Press Statement: Day 170: Rescuing Our Girls Demand Urgency
On this 170th Day since the abduction of the Chibok girls, we members of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign call on OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE REST OF THE world not to forget the ABDUCTED 219 girls in Nigeria. Our advocacy has always been for a singular purpose; AND that IS, FOR our Government and security agencies act to RESCUE AND save the abducted Chibok girls WHO ARE DAUGHTERS OF NIGERIA. WE have refused to move on FROM OUR SINGLE ISSUE FOCUS; WHICH IS THAT OUR FEDERAL
The occasion of Nigeria’s 54th Independence Day calls for SINCERE AND sober reflectionS. On A day LIKE THIS, WE CANNOT BUT RECALL the last line of our National Anthem ‘One Nation, bound in freedom, peace and unity’. That statement does not AT THIS MOMENT hold true for the 219 Chibok girls that have been held captive by the ruthless Boko Haram terrorist group for 170 days BUT YET WE REMAIN HOPEFUL. We HOWEVER REMIND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT that IT HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that these girls ARE RESCUED SO THAT THE CAN AGAIN live in freedom, peace and BE uniteD with their families.
We THEREFORE call on OUR Government to DECISIVELY ACT WITH UTMOST URGENCY IN TAKING EVERY MEASURE POSSIBLE to rescue our girls. OPTIMISTIC THAT OUR GIRLS WILL BE RESCUED, WE ALSO ASK that all the necessary mechanisms, STRUCTURES, systems and procedures OF REINTEGRATION, REHABILITATION AND RESETTLEMENT ARE put in place IMMEDIATELY AWAITING THE RESCUE OF our daughters. SUCH ORGANIZED READINESS WILL HELP OUR NATION EFFECTIVELY handle whatever challenges that MANY MONTHS OF TRAUMA IN CAPTIVITY HAS CAUSED THEM.
Unfortunately, Citizen Susannah, who was recently found wandering in the bushes of Sambisa forest, RAISES CRITICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE purported SURVEILLANCE, rescue and rehabilitation plans that NIGERIANS WERE told are currently in place BY BOTH THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Susannah’s ordeal only underscores the CRUCIAL need for essential aftercare facilities TO HANDLE our girls and the trauma they have endured over these months. Newspaper accounts report that SUSANNAH roamed for days in the forest before she was found AND HELPED by villagers. Susannah’s condition and plight demonstrates vividly the horrific treatment that OUR CHIBOK girls MUST BE going through in the hands of their abductors FURTHER HEIGHTENING THE NECESSARY URGENCY FOR THEIR RESCUE. WE DEMAND THEREFORE THAT our Government and its armed forces ACCORDS THEIR RESCUE THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE PRIORITY.
To mark day 170, the Abuja #bringBackOurGirls family will not embark on any RALLY OR PUBLIC EVENT in Abuja but will join thousands of supporters OF OUR CHIBOK GIRLS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO AMPLIFY THE social media CAMPAIGN using #WeareHere and #BringBackOurGirls hastags. October 1st would mark Day 155 of our SUSTAINED advocacy FOR THE RESCUE OF OUR Chibok girls.
ON THIS DAY THAT WE MARK 54 YEARS OF OUR INDEPENDENCE we URGE that Nigerians and friends of Nigeria ALL OVER THE WORLD remember our girls in their thoughts and in their prayers.
As a group, OUR HOPE FOR SAFE RESCUE OF OUR GIRLS IS UNIMPEACHABLE. Until that happens, we SHALL STAY committed to our solemn promise made on April 30, 2014 TO continue our advocacy everyday until our girls are back and ALIVE!
Hadiza Bala Usman