FG Replies BBOG, Says Won’t Change Date Of Tour To Accomodate Their Conditions
The Federal Government has replied the letter written by the Bring Back Our Girls Group requesting for a change in the date of a proposed tour of the north east to accommodate some conditions of the group.
Recall that the Federal Govt had written the BBOG group asking it to nominate three members including the leader of the movement, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili to be a part of the delegation that will visit the north east and see first hand efforts by the army to rescue the Chibok Girls abducted more than 2 years ago.
The FG, in the letter said the trip will enable the BBOG understand the efforts of the Nigerian military to ensure the freedom of the abducted girls and other abductees by the Boko Haram sect.
But in response the the FG’s invitation, the group demanded for a pre-tour meeting that should have top government officials in attendance to enable them “discuss pertinent issues” that will help inform its decision to proceed on the tour.
“We believe that this prior meeting would help provide first-hand knowledge of, and answers to questions that our Movement wishes to raise ahead of the guided tour”, former minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili said in the letter signed by her.
The group also demanded a retraction and apology from the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai over comments made by a group which protested to the army Headquarters last week.
The group said the retraction and apology for being described as a group engaging in “social advocacy terrorism” is a condition for which it will attend the pre-tour meeting and the tour proper.
“We demand therefore that ahead of the pre-tour meeting we have proposed herein, that the Chief of Army Staff retracts and apologizes for endorsing such slanderous attacks against our movement BringBackOurGirls and specifically against some of our leaders. Such a step would communicate that it is with goodwill that the Federal Government is asking us to entertain the visit proposed in your letter.”
But in response to the conditions demanded by the group, the Federal Government said it will not shift the date of the tour schedule for January 16.
“We regret, however to inform you that we are unable to postpone the trip as scheduled because:
- The need to proceed on the trip on Monday is predicated on a narrow window available to have a good weather on that day.
- Additionally, the payment for the satellite down link streaming of he mission has been made for that Monday, and shifting the date will require another round of booking to secure a slot”
The letter replying the BBOG which was also signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed also said much preparations had already been made by the Nigerian Army because apart from the BBOG members, local and international journalists werr also invited for the trip.
The FG further said the remarks purportedly made by the Chief of Army Staff for which it is seeking apology for and the request for a meeting with certain government officials is tangential to the invitation extended to the BBOG to joj the search mission for the Chibok Girls in recognition of its commitment for the safe release of the girls.
The letter thereafter said it hopes “the BBOG will drop its condition and join the trip, which shows the commitment of the Federal Government to securing freedom for the Chibok Girls and its transparency and the transparency in handling the issues of the girls”