#BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), a pressure group formed after kidnap of school girls in Nigeria, has set out a week long activities to mark the 1000 days of the kidnap of the girls, and also to compel Nigerian government to ensure release of the missing girls.
On 14th April, 2014 more than 200 school girls were kidnapped in their dormitories by Boko Haram members in the night. About 60 of the girls were reported to have escaped from the Boko Haram camp, days after the kidnap.
Nigerian military in December claimed victory of conquering Boko Haram by dislodging them from their Sambisa forest stronghold, and made a symbolic presentation of the insurgents flag to President Muhammadu Buhari. This followed a set target of defeating the insurgency group by end of 2016. A similar target set for December 2015 was unsuccessful.
With the fresh claim of defeating the Boko Haram by Nigerian military, the BBOG is asking Nigerian government and its military to stop contradicting themselves – the government had earlier said it will not declare victory against the Boko Haram insurgents without first rescuing the Chibok girls and all other victims.
A statement by Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili said the presidency and military have repeatedly on several occasions plegded that they would not declare victory without the rescue of the girls.
“We are doubly disappointed that the Federal Government contradicted itself by the recent declaration and celebration of capture of Sambisa Forest as the end of the war. This action is contrary to the pledge that the President and the Military made repeatedly on several occasions that they would not declare victory without the rescue of our Chibok girls and all other abducted victims of terrorist abduction.
“With no additional rescue of any of our Chibok girls since 13 October 2016, what conclusion should parents, the Chibok community, our Movement, the Nigerian public, and the world at large draw from the fact that our President and Military are celebrating “the capture of Sambisa ‘Camp Zero'”, the same stronghold in which it stated the girls were held and the 21 released were released from in October?
“Painfully, we are only a few days away from #Day1000 of their tragic abduction with no communication nor clarification nor status report on the negotiation the Federal Government previously stated was on-going for the release of the remaining 196 girls still with terrorists. Our Movement is therefore again constrained to resume our marches to mark the #DAY1000 tragic milestone. Our Movement expects that the President to regard the #Day1000 milestone as an over due time to bring this horrific saga to a final closure. We shall therefore carry out a series of activities for a period of one week, using our 24-hourly marches to compel our Federal Government to accelerate the decision and actions necessary to bring back the rest of our Chibok girls to their grossly disappointed parents.
“Unlike our other Global Weeks of Action carried out over the last thirty two months of our advocacy the #Day1000 version in Abuja shall be themed along various issues related to our #ChibokGirls,” it says.
The statement says the group will relocate its sit-out venue to the State House for the week, noting that its unrelenting campaigns compelled the Nigerian government to pursue the release of the last 21 girls from their kidnappers.
“However, it shall principally be powered by a 24-hourly march to the entrance of the State House. What this means is that we shall relocate our daily sit-out venue from the Unity Fountain to the State House for the Global Week of Action starting from Sunday 8th of January to Saturday 14th January, 2017. We shall gather to commence our marches on Sunday the 8th at 3pm at the Unity Fountain and proceed to our designated destination. With effect from Monday until Saturday being 14 January, we shall daily gather at 9am at the Unity Fountain to proceed on our marches to the Villa Gate.”
The group outlined the daily themes for the one week march as follows;
*Sunday 8 January:
#ChibokGirls – #Day1000
*Monday 9 January:
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – our Chibok girls are themselves IDPs (or refugees) as captives wherever they may be. The condition of IDPs in the Northeast is a humanitarian tragedy of immense proportion. The action necessary is too slow in coming from our Government. This has to change.
*Tuesday 10 January:
Military welfare – our Nigerian troops at the frontlines of the counterinsurgency deserve better. Videos have emerged where they have been seen scrambling for basic supplies like water. They allege that many are still ill-equipped and that some do not have proper clothing for the harsh weather, arms and ammunition. Some have been unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment for mutiny/treason for declining to fight without arms.
*Wednesday 11 January:
Corruption/Poor governance: There is corruption and poor governance in all sectors of our society including in the judiciary. The situation of the IDPs and our troops is a manifestation of this cancer. Corruption and poor governance created the enabling context for our girls to be abducted. The same cancer of corruption is a key reason why they remain in captivity 1,000 days after. The recent revelation about the N500million budgeted for the rebuilding of the Government Secondary School Chibok speaks to the depth of the corruption menace. Much more effective action is necessary from our Federal Government to stem the scourge.
*Thursday 12 January:
Endangered Education – Our Chibok girls were abducted in their school. Their only ‘crime’ was seeking an education (despite all the odds). Education- especially girls education- is clearly under attack in Nigeria. We must unite to counter this and ensure that our children are safe and feel safe to be in school.
*Friday 13 January:
Girl-child vulnerability – Our Chibok girls represent the horrors of the violence that a girl-child is exposed to, and many times undergoes. Another recent example is that of Habiba Ishiaku, abducted and forcefully “married” at age 14 without her parents’ knowledge, and ‘converted’ to another religion, all these done by the authority of the Emir of Katsina and the Katsina Emirate Council with the full knowledge and support of the Nigerian state.
*Saturday 14 January:
Insecurity: In Zamfara, Zaria, Jos, Enugu, Agatu, Southern Kaduna, etc, killings have taken place and are continually going on with entire communities wiped out, with no consequences and no end in view. All lives matter. All lives are precious. No human being is more human than other humans, and no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any other Nigeria. We insist that our Federal Government must take every action necessary to restore dignity to EVERY Nigerian life.
“All the above themes and focuses have connections with and are relevant to our Chibok girls and the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy. As is our culture we shall as usual follow the laid down procedure in notifying the police of our activities to enable them to do their constitutional role of facilitating our activities.
“MR PRESIDENT, NO MORE EXC– — — USES!
MR PRESIDENT, NO MORE DELAYS!!
MR PRESIDENT, DECIDE NOW!!!
MR PRESIDENT, ACT NOW WE WANT MORE RESULTS!!!!,” the statement reads.