The #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group has insisted that the federal government knows the whereabouts of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted on April 14, 2014.
In a press release signed by leaders of the group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Hadiza Bala-Usman, the group recalled the statement made by the chief of defence staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, on May 26, 2014, that the Chibok girls had been located and they would soon be back with their parents, and wondered why such statement should emanate from that quarter.
The group added that its hopes were further raised when in July 2014, the defence spokesman, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade announced to the world that a key actor in the April 14 abduction in the person of Babuji Ya’ari had been arrested, adding that it became even more expectant that critical information to aid the rescue of the girls was available to the military.
However, the group expressed anxiety that nearly five weeks into the renewed offensive, no specific status report on the rescue of the 219 girls has been given.
“It is worsened by recent pronouncements from our president and chief of army staff. In separate interviews, both President Goodluck Jonathan (speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation) and the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, shockingly averred that the federal government does not have information on the location of our Chibok girls.
“We find this latest update extremely distressing considering that it is coming at a time we had raised our hope based on the constant assurance of our president that our girls will be rescued”, the group said.
It condemned the tentativeness and nonchalance conveyed in the latest status report which seem to suggest that there may in fact not be any targeted and deliberate programme of rescue for the girls.
The group added that it joined the parents of the girls to insist that the rescue of the missing girls be top priority, adding that everything should be done to bring them back as soon as possible.
“A Chibok delegation paid a visit to the federal government to put matters into perspective. They insisted that the rescue of our 219 missing girls is top priority, and all should be done to bring them back soonest, and for the counterinsurgency effort to be successful so that they can return to a normal life,” it said.