JUST IN: FG rejects BBOG’s conditions for joining Sambisa tour

The federal government has rejected the conditions given by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement for embarking on a trip to Sambisa forest and some parts of the north-east.

In a letter dated January 11, the ministry of information and culture invited the movement to the north-east to see first hand efforts being made to rescue the Chibok girls.

But in a reply, the BBOG movement proposed a pre-tour meeting with the chief of army staff, chief of air staff and chief of defence staff before it would embark on a trip to the north-east.

They also asked Tukur Buratai to apologise for “endorsing” a group which labelled the movement to be embarking in “advocacy terrorism.”

However, in a letter dated January 14, the government said the trip could not be postponed.

It said the request for a meeting with certain top officials of the army and demanding an apology were irrelevant to its request for the BBOG to join in the search mission.

“Thank you for your letter, dated Jan. 13, which is in response to ours of Jan. 11, requesting that we change the date of the proposed guided tour of the north-east to accommodate a pre-tour meeting between your organisation and some top officials of the federal government,” the letter signed by Lai Mohammed, the information minister, read.

“We have also noted the conditions you gave for embarking on the trip which include the said pre-tour meeting and the retraction of some remarks allegedly made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. – Gen. Tukur Buratai, which the #BBOG finds to be slanderous.

“We regret, however, to inform you that we are unable to postpone the trip as scheduled.

“We hope that the BBOG will drop its conditions and join the trip which shows the commitment of the federal government to securing freedom for the Chibok girls and its transparency in handling the issues of the girls.”

The government said payment for the satellite downlink streaming of the mission had been made for the day and shifting the date will require another round of booking to secure such a slot.

It said apart from BBOG members invited, local and international journalists had been invited for the trip, while some preparations had been made by the military.

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