Yobe Attack: FG Has Failed To Learn From Chibok – BBOG

BBOG Co-convener, Aisha Yesufu

 

 

Co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement Aisha Yesufu has said that the Federal Government has failed to learn lessons from the abduction of the Chibok School girls in 2014 – a situation which she says has resulted in a recurrence of such in Yobe state.

“It’s a sad situation, it’s really heart breaking that we are seeing April 2014 all over again because what is happening right now is exactly the same thing that happened with our Chibok Girls’ abduction and it’s so sad that as a country we didn’t learn anything and right now, we have sketchy information all over the place – exactly what happened in the case of the Chibok girls,” she said.

Yesufu made the comments on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, while addressing the issue.

Over 50 schoolgirls went missing on Monday, from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) located in Dapchi, Headquarters of Bursari Local Government area of the Yobe state.

They were said to have disappeared after gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists invaded the school.

The news comes nearly four years after over 200 girls were abducted in a similar manner, from their school in Chibok, Borno state by the insurgents.

While the Federal Government has been able to secure the release of some of the girls in the passing months, many are still yet to be rescued.

Read Also: Over 50 Schoolgirls Missing After Boko Haram Attack, Yobe Govt Confirms

In the wake of the fresh attack, there are renewed fears that the same might be the fate of the Yobe school girls.

The Bring Back Our Girls group which immediately swung into action over the Chibok girls, with series of protests aimed at mounting pressure on the government to do more in its efforts to rescue them, has yet again urged the government to invest in intelligence gathering and proper investigation of such cases.

Yesufu criticised the state government for disseminating false information regarding the release of the girls; 50 of whom were earlier reported to have been released.

“It’s quite sad and it’s time for the Federal Government, the state and the military to come out with accurate information. What is the value of the Nigerian life if this is allowed to happen again almost four years after.

“It just tells us like I said earlier that nothing was learnt.

“Our focus, as we have said repeatedly, is that the government must invest in Intelligence gathering, it must invest in investigation. So obviously what happened is that there was more interest in bringing out a statement than there was in investigation and actually verifying how many of our girls are missing,” she said.

Speaking further, Yesufu also accused the state government of slow response to the news saying: “The incident happened on the 19th, yesterday was 22nd, immediately it happened, the governor ought to have been there, the President ought to have been there by now too.

When asked if the group is optimistic of the girls’ return, she explained that in the first place it was a ‘hard pill to swallow’ as they were yet to come to terms with the news, especially considering the lingering pain of the Chibok attack.

“Ignorance, they say, sometimes is bliss. When we started the movement four years ago, we didn’t know what it will entail but right now we know what it is. We were looking at the light at the end of the tunnel with some of our rescued Chibok girls, saying that in no time they will come back home and now we have been thrown back into the darkness of where we started from where there was no hope”.

The state and Federal Government have, however, promised to do all they can to bring back the missing school girls.

Another Chibok Girl Has Been Found – Osinbajo

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has confirmed that another Chibok schoolgirl has been found, barely 12 days after the release of the 82 abducted girls by terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Professor Osinbajo who made the announcement during the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday said that apart from the girls who escaped on the night of the abduction, only 122 girls have been either released or rescued so far.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina disclosed to journalists after the meeting that although details are yet to be fully unravelled, the development has been confirmed by the defense headquarters.

According to him, the affected girl has been brought to Abuja to join her colleagues who were rescued from captivity.

Also Read: President Meets With Freed Chibok Girls

On May 6, the 82 girls out of the 276 who were abducted from their school in Chibok town, Borno state, regained their freedom.

According to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Jummai Alhassan, tests conducted on them showed that some of the girls need to undergo surgery.

Meanwhile, a mediator involved in the release of the girls said some of the Chibok schoolgirls held captive for three years by Boko Haram refused to be part of the group of 82 girls freed.

BBOG Accuses FG Of Complacency Over Chibok Girls Rescue

Ezekweisli Seeks Public Conversation On Nigeria's EconomyThe Bring Back Our Girls campaign group has accused the Federal Government of complacency and maintaining what they termed a definite silence about the search of the remaining 195 missing Chibok school girls.

On the third day of a week-long activities to commemorate the third year since the abduction of the school girls, co-convener of the group, Oby Ezekwesili, said President Muhammadu Buhari must fulfill his promise and responsibility by ensuring the speedy return of the girls.

“There shouldn’t be any sense of complacency, on the part of any leader of a country, when you’ve got 195 of your children with terrorists. This government seems to want this whole agitation of Chibok girls to end so that everybody will just move away, No.

“There was a promise made that except the government brings back Chibok girls, it cannot say that it has defeated Boko Haram – It was the statement of our president in his inauguration address, it was the statement he revealed to us during our July visit in 2015 to him. He cannot run away from it, he cannot back away from it,” she stressed.

The parents on the other hand, who lamented over the situation, however expressed hope that their children would return.

BBOG Group Continues Week-Long Protest

BBOG, Military, Chibok GirlsThe Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group, have reconvened at the Unity Park Abuja, in an effort to further urge the government to step up its search for the remaining abducted Chibok school girls.

The Co-convener of the group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, says members should continue their week long protest not minding the threats of the police.

On January 8, 2017, it became 1,000 days since 276 girls were abducted by Boko Haram militants from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

Some of them have since been released while others managed to escape, but at least 195 girls are still in captivity.

Their abduction drew international attention to the activities of the armed group in Nigeria’s north-east region, with several world leaders including former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, calling for the girls’ release.

Meanwhile, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has restated the commitment of the federal government in securing the release of the remaining youngsters.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, Buhari said:

“We are grateful to God that on this landmark day, we are not completely in the depths of despair, but buoyed with hope that our daughters will yet rejoin their families and loved ones.

“Three of them have been recovered by our diligent military, while the freedom of 21 others was secured through engagement with their captors. We are hopeful that many more will still return as soon as practicable”.

He then reiterated his pledge, pronounced many times in the past, that government would not spare any effort to reunite the girls with their families.

1,000 Days After: Buhari Recommits To Return Of Chibok School Girls

Chibok Girls, Muhammadu BuhariAs the world commemorates the 1,000th day of the abduction of schoolgirls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of the federal government in securing the release of the remaining youngsters kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, Buhari said:

“We are grateful to God that on this landmark day, we are not completely in the depths of despair, but buoyed with hope that our daughters will yet rejoin their families and loved ones.

“Three of them have been recovered by our diligent military, while the freedom of 21 others was secured through engagement with their captors. We are hopeful that many more will still return as soon as practicable”.

He reiterated his pledge, pronounced many times in the past, that government would not spare any effort to reunite the girls with their families.

“I salute the fortitude of the distraught parents. As a parent also, I identify with their plight.

“Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned to years, and today, it is 1,000 days.

“The tears never dry, the ache is in our hearts. But hope remains constant, eternal, and we believe our pains will be assuaged. Our hopes will not be shattered, and our hearts will leap for joy, as more and more of our daughters return. It is a goal we remain steadfastly committed to,” the President said.

On the occasion of the 1,000 days, President Buhari commends all who have been in the vanguard for the recovery of the girls, both nationally and internationally, stressing:

“Someday soon, we will all rejoice together. Our intelligence and security forces are unrelenting, and whatever it takes, we remain resolute.

“Chibok community, Nigeria, and, indeed, the world, will yet rise in brotherhood, to welcome our remaining girls back home. We trust God for that eventuality.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has asked the Nigerian government to redouble efforts to ensure the release of the girls and all other victims of mass abduction.

Chibok girls,

The demand is coming few days after one of the abducted Chibok girls taken from their school’s dormitory on April 14, 2014 was recovered by the military with her six-month-old baby.

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group, have however asked the president to move faster so that the remaining girls can be rescued alive.

Amnesty International Asks Government To Up Efforts To Free All Chibok Girls

Chibok girls,One thousand days after the chilling abduction of 276 school girls in Chibok, Amnesty International is asking the Nigerian government to redouble efforts to ensure the release of the girls and all other victims of mass abduction.

The organisation is also calling on Boko Haram to put an end to the girls’ suffering and immediately release them and all other civilians they are currently holding.

The demand is coming few days after one of the abducted Chibok girls taken from their school’s dormitory on April 14, 2014 was recovered by the military with her six-month-old baby.

Her return followed the release of 21 girls by Boko Haram in October, a development that the Nigerian government said was the outcome of negotiations with the insurgents.

41 Other Cases Of Mass Abductions

The demand of the rights group was contained in a statement it issued on Saturday by the Acting Country Director for Amnesty International Nigeria, Makmid Kamara. The group drew the government’s attention to the fact that the girls have remained in captivity for 1,000 days.

It read: “This terrible anniversary is a chilling reminder not just of the tragic disappearance of the Chibok school girls, but also all other individuals – many of whom are also children – who remain captive in Boko Haram’s hideouts across the country. These abductions and other attacks on civilians, many of which constitute war crimes, must stop.

“While the Nigerian government is making considerable efforts to recover the 195 Chibok girls still in Boko Haram’s custody, we are concerned that victims of less well publicised mass abductions have not benefited from comparable efforts to secure their release”.

The group claimed to have documented at least 41 other cases of mass abductions by Boko Haram since 2014.

“Many of the attacks committed by the group, including deliberate killing of civilians, rape, destruction of homes, bombing of places of worship, markets and other civilian structures, constitute war crimes and those responsible should be brought to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty,” Amnesty International demanded.

The rights group further said it recognised the resilience and determination of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaigners in Nigeria in getting the plight of the Chibok girls on the world’s agenda and for keeping up the pressure on the government by continuing to demand the release of all the girls.

“Their persistence is notable at a time when the civic space for peaceful protests and gatherings in Nigeria is rapidly shrinking.

“The people of Nigeria, and indeed the world, are remembering the 1000th day after the Chibok abduction primarily because of the relentless work of Bring Back Our Girls.

“We hope that the energy of this formidable campaign will be replicated in demands for justice and accountability for crimes committed by all parties to the current conflict in north eastern Nigeria,” Kamara said.

“The Nigerian government should also dramatically step up its efforts to ensure the safe release of abductees and provide proper psychological and medical support to those who have already been rescued, released or have escaped captivity.”

Crimes Against Humanity

For over seven years, Boko Haram has been carrying out a violent campaign against civilians in north eastern Nigeria through acts of almost daily killings, bombings, abductions and looting. Towns and villages have been pillaged.

Schools, churches, mosques and other public buildings have been attacked and destroyed. Boko Haram is brutally mistreating civilians trapped in areas under its control and has disrupted the provision of health, education and other public services in the seven years of its push for an Islamic state and an end to Western education in the northeast region of Nigeria.

Amnesty International says its research shows that Boko Haram has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity.

After the girls were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Amnesty International said abductions were consistent parts of Boko Haram’s attacks.

The group had on 14 April 2015 released a comprehensive report which documented 38 cases of abduction by Boko Haram.

Since April 2015, thousands of women, men and children who were abducted by Boko Haram have escaped or been rescued.

IBB Reacts To Chibok Girls Release

IBBA former military president in Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida, has rejoiced with the families, people of Nigeria and indeed Nigerian government over the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok Girls.

In a statement through Mahmud Abdullahi, the Former Military President popularly known as IBB, said it was a thing of joy for the girls to have been reunited with their families after being taken away in such painfully and abrupt manner for over two and half years.

He noted that the release of the 21 girls signalled a hope, after such moments of despair that the abduction of over 200 Schools girls brought to their families, the entire country and the global community.

Hasten Negotiations

General Babangida stated that it was gratifying to see the release of 21 of the girls, after delicate negotiations with the Boko Haram saying that “it is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is committed to ensuring safe release of the girls”.

He further applauded the effort of President Buhari and the resilience showed thus far on the release of abducted Chibok school girls despite the general lethargy and dampening spirit caused by the mode of operation of the deadly group.

He also, urged the, Federal Government, security agents and other partners to hasten negotiations to free the remaining girls and rehabilitate them from psychological trauma they might have encountered in the last two and half years.

The former military President reaffirmed his belief in the professional capability of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies in ensuring that they put an end to the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the northeast completely.

He maintained that the Nigerian Armed Forces had the training and the professional background to end all forms of security threat to the nation such as kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, farmers-herders clashes and other forms of vandalism.

The former Nigerian leader also called on all Nigerians to offer all forms of assistance to the released Chibok girls in order to overcome the mental, physical and psychological trauma they have gone through over the past two and half.

The Nigerian government had promised to immediately rehabilitate the released girls.

Election Postponement Not In Vain – Omeri

Mike OmeriThe Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri on Thursday said that the victories recorded by the Nigerian army against the Boko Haram terrorist group was evidence that the postponement of the 2015 general elections was neither in vain nor a devious ploy by the government.

The general elections which had been slated for February 14 and 28 were postponed for security reasons and to buy time for the Nigerian army to sweep out Boko Haram insurgents in the north eastern region of the country.

While giving updates on security operations on Sunrise Daily, Omeri noted that there was increased collaboration and vigilance on the part of the security operatives in the fight against the insurgents.

Commenting on the postponement of the general elections, Mr Omeri noted that it was necessary to give the security agents time to restore peace in troubled areas.

“From the information coming from the North East, it is evident that successes are being recorded,” Omeri noted, adding that there were evidences that the request to postpone the general elections was not in vain and neither was it a ploy as alleged by the opposition.

Asked about the efforts at rescuing the Chibok school girls, who were abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014, Omeri said “operations are still ongoing” to free as many that were taken forcefully, including the girls.

He urged Nigerians to “please be patient”.

On comments by the Chadian President claiming to know the whereabouts of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and his continued resurgence despite previous claims by the Nigerian military that he had been killed, Omeri said he had no reason to doubt the military since they were the ones in the theater of action.

Asked about citizens who were forced to abandon their homes to escape Boko Haram attacks, Omeri disclosed that some internally displaced persons in some communities within the country have started returning to their various homes.

He however noted that some communities have been advised to wait for the army to give a go-ahead before moving back into their communities.

“Where peace and stability is established, people have started coming back. Where they still need to undertake mop up operations and give necessary security advice, citizens are advised to wait and operate within the advice that would be given by the military and other appropriate authorities”.

Senate President Tasks INEC, Politicians As National Assembly Resumes

SenateThe Nigerian Senate President, David Mark, has urged INEC to ensure that no eligible Nigerian is disenfranchised in the forthcoming general elections.

Addressing federal lawmakers at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Senator Mark said that the wishes of internally displaced persons who have expressed their desire to have their votes cast and counted must be taken into account.

He asked for support on behalf of the electoral umpire towards achieving free, fair and credible elections.

Senator Mark, who expressed concern about the worsening security situation in the North-East, also expressed disappointment at the utterances of politicians especially highly placed ones as the February general elections get closer.

“Politicians must desist from provocative and inciting utterances. We may be in different political parties but we are not enemies. We must educate, caution and guide our supporters and followers. Election should be an asset to democracy but where it leads to violence or acrimony, it becomes a liability.

“We must, irrespective of party affiliations, do our best to ensure free, fair, transparent and credible elections. At the risk of stating the obvious, I would like to emphasize that for us to hold an elective office, there must first be a nation.

“I urge all my distinguished colleagues to continue to set example for conduct in the public sphere. I am disturbed and saddened by the war songs emanating from many quarters, particularly from highly placed Nigerians who are threatening fire and brimstone.

“Elections need not dissolve into theatres of war. It is my belief that war mongering will only result in a legacy that we will all regret,” he said.

During the speech he had also detailed areas which the Senate would be giving priority attention to.

He assured Nigerians that the Senate would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the end of the 17th assembly.

Senator Mark said that the Senate was conscious of the concerns of various stakeholders over the non-passage of the PIB and assured them that when passed, the PIB would have a profound impact on the future direction of the economy.

Ceasefire Deal: Security Experts Say Deal Is Wrong Approach To Terrorism

Boko HaramSecurity experts said on Saturday that the Nigerian government’s ceasefire agreement with the Boko Haram, was a wrong approach in handling terrorism.

Pastor Ladi Thompson and Mr Ona Ekhomu insisted that what Nigeria was facing was not insurgency but terrorism, advising the government to treat the issue as terrorism and not as insurgency, as the media had made the situation appear.

While giving his opinion on Saturday on the ceasefire deal, Pastor Thompson said he was alarmed when he first heard of the agreement, since the announcement came from official channels of the government.

He said that the ceasefire deal was a pointer to “a truth that the Federal Government of Nigeria has no cohesive policies and a sign that it had lost the war against the Boko Haram”.

“If you ignore the ideological aspect of what the Boko Haram represent, that is the only time you will allow anybody to deceive you that there will be a ceasefire for a season that will not be strategically advantageous to the Boko Haram,” he said.

He insisted that the Nigerian government was dealing with terrorism and not insurgency as the crisis in the north-east had been referred to by world media.

Pastor Thompson also said that Nigeria’s security services had been infiltrated, stressing that “Nigeria does not have an understanding of what it is handling in the first place”.

“How do you tell a group with an ideology that does not have the record of negotiating with anyone to negotiate with you?” He questioned.

Politicisation Of Terrorism Issue

Explaining the extent of the crisis he said one of the girls that was released by the Boko Haram group tested positive to HIV and was also pregnant. He said that the girl was not one of the Chibok girls that was taken in April.

“The girl has been held for six months before she was released and when she came she told us of how nice the Boko Haram sect members were and that they did not touch her. I observed her and i requested that certain tests should be carried out on her. When she was tested and it was discovered that she was not only pregnant but HIV positive.”

He condemned the politicisation of the issues of the kidnapped Chibok girls.

“We have not allowed the nation to know the depth and the extent that things have worsened in the battlefront,” he said, urging the Nigerian government to be more structured in its approach to the war against the Boko Haram.

Soldiers Killed By Friendly Fires

He further advised stakeholders who look beyond the Nigerian politics to rise up and talk to the government about what to do “before the situation goes beyond what it is”.

“They should tell the government to take issues out of political issues and tackle it as a war that it is. If we continue to accept to the rest of the world that we have an insurgency, what we are admitting is that there is a popular or unpopular uprising in Nigeria,” Pastor Thompson said.

Being a pastor, he said that he was privy to some information about what was happening in the north-east and what the military was facing.

He said that a young soldiers in the war front had told him that the situation of things had worsened and that they were being killed in air raids.

“He was crying when he was talking to me. We pray for these boys and we have a first hand conversation with them. He confirmed to me that the embargo on Nigeria would not have been made public if not for the seizure of arms deal money in South Africa. On several occasions, soldiers were killed by air force friendly fires.

He asked the government to be sure of who it was negotiating with if negotiation was the only option it had.

On his part, Mr Ona Ekhomu also said that the crisis in the north was not insurgency but terrorism.

“This is not insurgency, it is extremism and it is not properly defined. It is a breakdown of law and order. He said.

Mr Ekhomu insisted that what Nigeria was experiencing was a world phenomenon that had not been seen before.

He said that the Nigerian government had not accepted the reality, explaining that the Boko haram activities are similar to that of the ISIS in Syria and other terrorists groups around the world.

“We are solving the wrong problem because we have refused to call it what it is,” he said.

Mr Ekhomu also said that there were a lot that the government was not letting Nigerians know, insisting that there was need for evidence for the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, who the military claimed it had killed.

He insisted that the Boko Haram sect were faceless and that a negotiation with the group may be difficult.

He suggested that the government should do due diligence on who they are negotiating with if such negotiations would work.

Police Restates Commitment To Protecting Citizens’ Rights

The Nigeria Police hassd_frank_mba_on_police_and_national_security_171012 restated its commitment towards the protection and enforcement of the fundamental rights of the citizens, particularly their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association amongst others as enshrined in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

In a statement by the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, the police further adds that “the Law Enforcement Agencies are duty-bound to enforce these rights” revealing that the IGP has “charged his Zonal and State Command Officers to ensure that citizens embarking on rallies and other peaceful demonstrations are provided adequate security in line with the standard operational practice of the Force”.

The IGP however called on “leaders and organizers of such rallies to work in concert with the Police to ensure the safety of participants and orderliness of the exercise. He further urged them to take measures to deter hoodlums from hijacking the assemblies”.

While calling on the citizens to provide the Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies with useful information in the fight against terror and other related crimes, the IGP reassured them that all necessary steps are being taken towards ensuring that the abducted Chibok School girls are rescued and returned to their loved ones.

The statement also noted that this development is coming “against the backdrop of the recent local and international clamour for the immediate and unconditional release of the school girls who were abducted from Chibok, Borno State, through protests and other forms of advocacy”.

 

 

Abducted Chibok Girls: Christian Forum Demands 50m Naira Compensation

School-girls-abductedThe Northern States Christian Elders Forum, an affiliate of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has demanded a 50 million Naira compensation for each of girls of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok abducted and held captive by members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect for over two weeks.

The forum said that 180 of the girls abducted on April 14 are Christians.

The immediate past chairman of the Forum and President of Old Time Revival Hour based in  Kaduna, Rev. Mathew Owojaiye, who released the list to Channels Television on Sunday, said 90 per cent of the abducted girls are Christians and therefore questioned why the Boko Haram militants targeted only schools in Chibok Local Government, which  is predominantly a Christian community.

The organisation said apart from the 50 million Naira damage as trauma compensation to each of the girls, the government must also take each of them to universities abroad on government scholarship by September 2014, while also demanding for the immediate transfer of SS1 and SS2 girls from schools in Chibok to schools of their choice, the cost of which must be borne by the government.

While enjoining Nigerians to pray and raise their voices to high heavens over the incident, the Northern Christian elders also called on the Federal Government to live up to its constitutional responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of the citizenry.

The association also released a list containing the names of the students that were abducted.

Click here to view the names of the abducted girls.