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Chibok Girls: FG Asks BBOG to Maintain Advocacy Role

Chibok Girls: FG AsksBBOG to Maintain Advocacy Role

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government (FG) has urged the Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) to consider government as a partner, rather than an adversary in the group’s quest to secure the release of the Chibok girls.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued Monday in Abuja, said the BBOG’s persistent portrayal of the government as an adversary and the needless firing of darts at Mr. President, who is doing his utmost best to bring the girls back home safely, were ultimately counter-productive.

”The Federal Government has bent over backwards to carry the BBOG along and to show transparency in the conduct of the search for the girls. The recent invitation extended to the group to witness first-hand the search for the girls by the Nigerian Air Force is a clear indication of this.

”However, it came to us as a surprise that in spite of its initial positive report on the tour, the BBOG has too quickly reverted to its adversarial role. BBOG should stick to its role as an advocacy group rather than pretending to be an opposition party. The synonyms of the word ‘advocacy’ do not include ‘antagonism’, ‘opposition’ or ‘attack’. In fact, those words are the antonyms of ‘advocacy’,” the Minister stressed.

Alhaji Mohammed said it amounted to needless grandstanding for the BBOG to say it would no longer tolerate ”delays” and ”excuses” from the President on the release of the girls, as reported by the media, noting that such impudent language should have been reserved for those who did nothing in the first 500 days of the girls’ abduction, not for a President who has presided over the liberation of all captured territory, the opening of shuts schools and roads, the safe release of some of the abducted girls and the decimation of Boko Haram.

Alhaji Mohammed assured Nigerians that the efforts to bring the girls back safely are course, but sought the public understanding for not divulging any further details so as not to jeopardize the intricate process.

”Let me say unequivocally that the people involved in the negotiations are working 24/7. The negotiations are complicated, tortuous and delicate. Any wrong signal is capable of derailing things. That’s why the less we say about the talks the better it is for all.

”We need a huge amount of confidence-building, the kind of which led to the release of the 21 of the girls. This has been lacking for years, but right now we are confident that we are on the right track. We won’t do anything to jeopardize these talks, irrespective of the pressure or provocation from any quarter,” the Minister maintained.


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