Chude Jideonwo: If we want to change our country, we have 15 lessons to learn from BBOG (II)

This continues Monday’s piece on the 15 disciplines behind the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign.


The discipline of leadership


On 18 January 2016, the journalist Kadaria Ahmed tried out a few tweets about the BBOG movement.


The sum of her thesis? Its leaders needed to change. According to her, the ‘activists’ have become the story rather than the girls.


“Campaigns should not be static,” she said. “To succeed, they should be alive and evolve based on prevailing circumstances.”


This was on the face of it, a non sequitur.


The criticisms that the movement was facing were the exact same they have always faced, only this time Buhari’s supporters had taken the place of Jonathan’s supporters. The girls were still missing. Their mothers were still weeping. As @anwana_ime asked her that morning: “What is the prevailing circumstance. And how has it changed from the previous circumstance?”


But of course, ultimately, this criticism was a hammer by by the irritated to shut down BBOG by targeting its leaders. It had become apparent that the movement itself could not be delegitimized successfully, and this was the next best thing.


Now, it is true that BBOG protesters can be combative on occasion, but it is as true as it is inevitable. History doesn’t have records of strong, passionate campaigners on major potentially divisive issues that haven’t, in that moment, at those times been seen as belligerent.


We remember Martin Luther King Jr now with the afterglow of hindsight, now that the world completely agrees with him, but at his time, the prevailing peacefulness of his protests were seen by ‘polite people’ as offensive – and his leadership, corrosive.


Reviewing Gallup polling from King’s time in a 1995 piece, political scientist Sheldon Appleton made this clear. “The overwhelming approval with which king is remembered today stands in ironic contrast to how he was perceived … while he was alive and active,” he reports. “A number of survey items asked about King in the mid-sixties show him more reviled than revered – in fact, as one of the most disliked American political figures in that age of public opinion polling.”


The first time King was assessed on a scalometer in 1964 – the year just before he was awarded the Nobel Prize – the only person the majority of citizens i.e. white Americans disliked more than King was the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev.


You can’t evoke strong passions in people and retain your likeability numbers. Criticism of movement leaders – whether they are national icons like Gani Fawehinmi or global legends like Nelson Mandela – for being strong and attracting the disdain of those who disagree is therefore both unoriginal but, as in examples past, disingenuous.


Of course, where this attack works, it can be very effective:  once you are able to cut off the head, the rest of the body dissembles. No movement is truly without a leader, formal or informal. The way the human being organizes is around passions, directed by a leader.


Beyond Ezekwesili, the attacks have also found another easy target – Aisha Yesufu, a strong voice who has put her neck on the line.


She is too loud, some have said, too strident. She has been accused her of focusing too narrowly on this one issue (rather than broadly, one would have to assume, on all the issues that concern Nigerians), and in one case someone actually asked why her husband wouldn’t keep her in check.


It is the kind of vitriol that can fell lesser (wo)men. But BBOG has disciplined itself to avoid this trap.


It has stuck with its natural leaders mostly because they have led by example. Those leaders have also been disciplined in lifting up those within the movement – elegantly ceding authority, credit, voice and authority in turn over the course of almost three-years.


Even corporate institutions with clear hierarchies and formal appointments, not to talk of robust remuneration, do not often achieve this feat.


The discipline of amplification

If BBOG has understood anything intuitively, it has been the strategic importance of media and messaging.


In addition to a consistent message, it has maintained opened lines with the media, been transparent with its affairs, opened its hands to scrutiny and maximized social connections and conversation.


To be sure, all of this is not of its deliberate making. The media has been drawn by the righteousness of the cause, willing itself as its champion, the Guardian placing a daily countdown on its homepage cover page, tracking each milestone, Channels TV leaving an open door.


But, there is also the fact of the leaders’ huge moral authority, the movement’s towering integrity, and its ability to handle itself both with dignity and with common sense.


There is also its practical skill in commanding attention by its strategic protests (speaking to 2000 young Nigerians protesting the corruption at the Nigerian Immigration Service memorably advised them that to be effective, they had to suspend their Saturday protest and resume on Monday when the president would be at work), its crystallising of the issues, the marking of crucial milestones, and its partnership with organisations like EnoughisEnough Nigeria and arm-linking with strategic voices like Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission.


The discipline of integrity

I spoke about this above, and it bears speaking about again: BBOG’s integrity.


There is the fact that it is very quick – and smart – to loudly disavow those who seek to deploy its name or its goodwill for dodgy gains including the ambiguous October 2016 fundraiser by the president’s daughter, Hadiza Buhari-Bello.


But that is simply icing on the cake for an organization that holds itself to the highest standards of demonstrable integrity.


There is nothing that it has done or said that has been a lie – and it has severely curtailed exaggeration. Even at the times when it has been misconstrued and deliberately mis-interpreted, it has been aggressive in ensuring that the truth, or at least a balanced narrative, prevails.


It insisted on the fact of the girls’ kidnap, on correct numbering of the girls, on a consistent message, ceding the stage where necessary to the parents, refusing to be drawn into an artificial conflict with Malala Yousafzai courtesy of the Jonathan government, altogether earning immense credibility for its integrity.


That integrity continues to serve it well.


The discipline of financial responsibility

Linked to the above is the matter of financial probity.


BBOG made the wisest decision from the start of the campaign not to raise any money, not to open any account, not to accept funding from any outside forces.


It is impossible to overstate the significance of this step.


Every organization needs money. Especially one like BBOG that has been sustained optimally for over two years. And if BBOG had chosen to raise money, its immense network and credibility would have been enough to pull in millions of dollars.


The uses of the funds are easy to identify: the education of the rescued girls, the sustenance of their poor parents, the administration of a group with several networks.


However, BBOG understood that the easiest way cynics bring down a movement is to accuse it either of financial impropriety or pecuniary interest.


An accusation with legs can run. One without legs often dies on arrival.


So at great pain to the pockets of the members and its leaders, it has stuck with contributing monies within itself and spending those small amounts on the barest of minimums – water for those who gather, printing of documents, transportation for protests, the very basics.


Of course, many organisations will find it incredibly difficult to be effective without financial resources, and neither should they. Impact, after all is more important than naysayers.


But what BBOG teaches is that it is important to identify what activities or projects need resources and what activities do not.


It is useful to know what kind of monies are useful, and what kinds of monies are destructive.


The disciple of consistency

Then there is consistently, already alluded to above, but necessary to isolate in its particular case.


For those who insisted that BBOG was a tool of the All Progressives Congress to delegitimize and remove President Jonathan, immense confusion emerged when the movement continued the exact same agitation, with the exact same aggression, upon the change of guard at the Presidential Villa.


Even the new government cannot believe it. After all, it hosted that lavish photo shoot where it bestowed hugs on the mothers of the girls and blew kisses at the conveners of the protests.


But as it was with Jonathan, it has been with Buhari. And history has repeated itself.


Just like the former, the latter has attacked BBOG with everything – the army, the police, spokespersons and recently, with the information minister tarring them as an opposition party.


This has been a gift to BBOG.


The attacks have had the unintended effect of making it clear that it is a non-partisan movement that would approach and confront anyone that stands against its mission.


That consistency has enabled it to weather the storm of cynics who cannot identify selflessness, and the status quo, that would fight accountability.


The discipline of essence

Whoever has left the movement; BBOG has remained unstoppable.


Hadiza Bala Usman left to join the APC government, Maryam Uwais left to join the government (assuredly, this transition into governments would have happened whatever party won the presidency) and the movement continued, stronger.


The politicians who joined in for their own selfish interest inevitably left, those who took on jobs that required separation also left, and yet the movement continued stronger, better leading ultimately to the release of many girls.


The essence of it remains; through thick and thin, beyond agenda and personality.


Ask yourself, where the #ChildNotBride, #OccupyNigeria, and other popular protests and campaigns have ended up despite the endurance of the problems, and appreciate the beauty of a movement that will not die.


The discipline of courage

They have continued on this mission without care for their lives, without care for their pockets, without care for the friends they lose and the enemies they gain.


They have, many of them, travelled to Chibok to see things for themselves (they inspired me to also visit Chibok for myself) and to connect with the communities, and they have spread across the dangerous cities and villages of North-East to draw the nation’s attention to the twin carnage of terrorist violence and government abandonment.


Then the Nigerian government decided to test their resolve by inviting them, inelegantly and with transparent bad faith, to come to the Sambisa Forest for themselves to search for the girls. They considered it, ignored the double speak, and decided: it was worth the sacrifice.


Their critics, especially those aligned with the government, had already begun to snicker, confident in the belief that these women would not undertake a journey very many would not dare undertake.


With that singular act of courage, entering into enemy territory (not only of the terrorists but of a hostile government) Yesufu and Ezekwesili forever established the credibility of their mission and the courage that gives it authority.


But in addition to the public sacrifice, there is the more instructive matter of personal sacrifice, refusing to trade the focused demand of the movement for the ability to be liked by people who just want them to ‘tone it down’.


In a remarkable (to me, shocking) instance, in January of 2016, the writer Molara Wood switched on an attack on the mothers of the missing girls for faking their tears.


“2 years on, Chibok parents, once there’s a camera about, grab their heads almost in sequence, wail and weep and shed tears demonstratively,” she complained, lecturing a movement. “There is no nuance to their grief, sometimes no dignity. A tear doesn’t trickle out in silence. They shed tears that demand: see me, see me. Nobody wails two years without variance/exhaustion. Chibok parents seem able to cry and thrash on cue. They’re beginning to look rehearsed.”


Around these worrisome tweets, she took the time to highly praise the personal integrity of Ezekwesili, as if to inoculate herself from deserved criticism.


In return, Ezekwesili impressively ignored the praise, and focused on the issue.


“This is the UNKINDEST THING to say to those parents, Molara. I heard those deep agonizing cries as we marched with them. SAD,” she tweeted. “Yes. Another’s pain can look like Drama. Who are we to JUDGE another’s EXPRESSION of their grief?”


In that reaction, she proved that the adoration of an influential culture critic was less important than the underscoring of a national tragedy. The pain of the Chibok parents of higher priority that those who would not give them help, or allow them dignity.


The discipline of hope

“Hope is inexhaustible,” Ezekwesili preached to the audience at The Future Awards Africa 2014, leading the hall to tears. “When all else fails, hope yet remains, and it springs eternal. It is that hope that keeps us looking for the girls, no matter how dim the chances are.”


And BBOG has continued to hope.


Indeed hope is all that it has armed itself with. Hope that, I must confess, even I grew weary of, because it appeared to me in 2015, after a year of no results, that these girls were never going to be found.


But all real change movements need to have real hope. They need to have real hope that the problem will be solved, that their campaign is not just about the motions.


It must come down to the conviction that the work matters, that the outcome is possible, and that collective action is powerful.


The discipline of action

And at the end of the day, action.


BBOG is not just about words, BBOG is decidedly about action.


It does its research, it keeps fidelity with its weekly sit outs, it calculates its numbers, it responds when called to Sambisa, it undertakes those long walks under the sun to the Presidential Villa.


It keeps track, it stretches itself, it shows up, it walks the talk.


At the end of the day really, that’s what it comes down to: do what you say you will do, act how you say you will act; stick with the issue until it is resolved.


Never stop, never let go.


Whatever happens, keep moving. Because change is always possible.


Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED (, which brands including Y!/ and governance communication firm, StateCraft Inc. Office of the Citizen (OOTC) is his syndicated essay series.

Chude Jideonwo: If we want to change our country, we have 15 lessons to learn from BBOG (I)

You know the tragedy already. The world does. And it’s one we have yet to recover from: 276 Chibok girls kidnapped from their schools under the watch of a functioning Nigerian government, and just under 200 of them yet to be recovered as we speak.

Now, this is the point at which many of us replay our shock, as to how 1036 days after, in a state that is not failed, we still have these girls missing.

Then we remind ourselves that the Chibok girls are not the only victims of this state of affairs. Hundreds of boys and girls, men and women, have been kidnapped by the terrorists of Boko Haram since its 2009 resurgence; many of them remain un-named, untracked, and un-accounted for.

But the Chibok girls are top of mind. We have been unable to forget them, and because of them we are been unable to, as usual, dismiss the uncomfortable fact that fellow Nigerians are living in a war zone from which lives have been disrupted, families have been dislocated, and futures have been dislodged.

The singular reason for this, is the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group.

Because of BBOG, we have been unable to forget the Chibok girls. We have been unable to move on from that point in our national conversation. We have been unable to get to a place of comfortable ignorance.

This has happened because BBOG proved to be a completely different kind of group, wholly unlike anything Nigerian had ever seen before this, and even after it.  And because ultimately, BBOG has been that most rare of Nigerian occurrences: effective.

It has been effective in focusing global spotlight on the missing girls. It has been effective in wooing and winning public and media support. It has been effective in commanding and sustaining stakeholder attention especially government.

And most importantly, it has been successful in actually bringing back our girls.

In a society lacking in and disdainful of institutional memory, I am aware of the heartening amount of scholarly research undertaken, at least in the last one year, on the phenomenon that BBOG has become. Generations of change makers interested in understanding the context, culture and imperatives of affecting outcomes in this particular civic space will do well to pay close, and grateful, attention when that body of work hits the body politic.

In the space between now and then however, it is useful to establish a framework within which to understand the success of BBOG as a movement, and its imperative as a model.

I will outline them as the 15 disciplines of the #BringBackOurGirls movement.

The discipline of standards

There has been a clear marker from the beginning of the movement, from the first protests in Abuja, as Obiageli Ezekwesili, Habiba Balogun, Bukonla Shonibare and others stepped on the streets to demand an institutional response to the matter of the missing girls: they demanded that all the girls be rescued, alive.

It looked like only a slogan then. Not so much today.

That demand made clear a marker on the sanctity of human life, and that nothing lower than the restoration of the girls the way their parents deserve to find them, would be accepted. That standard has neither been discarded nor lowered since the first demand, no matter how hard it appeared the request was, no matter how wide the Sambisa Forest is, no matter how much time had passed since the girls were taken. The sanctity of human lives. Now and alive.  

The discipline of focus

It is a miracle, to be clear, that the BBOG movement is still standing today. That its unpaid members and leaders are still standing tall and strong, and that they continue to maintain global credibility. Because typically, no movement in Nigeria, save for a military coup or an election, has lasted this long.

But the miracle is heightened by the fact of all that have been thrown at the campaigners. They have been attacked by those who detest the moral pulpit of Ezekwesili and cohorts because it speaks to their own lack of action, have been attacked by those who interpreted the movement as an political gang-up on Goodluck Jonathan, have been attacked by those who view every civil action in Nigeria as hypocrisy, by those who are waiting for Jesus himself, complete with celestial perfection, to lead any popular movement; those who are irritated that the movement did not pack up when Jonathan was sent packing, and now those who feel it must treat Muhammadu Buhari differently from his predecessor.

But one of the more resonant criticisms has always been this question: why the singular focus on the Chibok girls?

Many Nigerians have been kidnapped; why the disproportionate attention on the Chibok girls?

In response, BBOG has, from get go, ignored the noise. It came into being because the kidnap of the Chibok girls was one kidnap too far, and it has stuck with that purpose.

The understanding comes no doubt from the fact that no one person or group can change the world, and these ones had chosen their corner. To be effective, they must stick with that corner.

Of course, there has always been an immediate, and rational response to this criticism: That the girls from Chibok clearly stand as a signpost for all the named, nameless and faceless who have been abandoned by the Nigerian state; a indicator of the limits beyond which we cannot allow ourselves go as a people.

But, remarkably, BBOG desisted from making this point for itself. Because it is unnecessary.

What was (and is) necessary is its mission, from which it would not waste time on debates and arguments, and on dissipating energy.

The focus has been iconic.

The discipline of clarity

When trivial people ask the campaigners to go over to Chibok themselves and rescue the girls, the response has been a beauty of precision: we are an advocacy group, not a military organization.

That sense of clarity has always been the most effective thing about BBOG. They have an unnerving clarity about who they are, what they stand for, what they want, the viability of their demands, and the solutions they seek.

This is what BBOG is: an advocacy organization focused on ensuring the freedom, alive, of the missing Chibok girls, doing this by confirming the identities of each of their girls, tracing the timeline and chain of reactions from, making clear action, response, and marker of success.

There is no ambiguity in anybody’s minds about any of these.

The discipline of empiricity

Nigeria has never been a nation of precision. Our government doesn’t have proper records for its citizens; data is antiquated in many spaces or limited to for-profit desks.

Our media has in turn reflected this distinguished chaos. How many times have three news stories about the same tragedy, sometimes from the same paper, had three different number tallies for its victims?

Into that chaos came the matter of Nigeria’s missing girls. The first service BBOG did us was insist on precision in numbers, and then aid the eventual calculation: 276 girls were missing.

That desire for empirical evidences has defined the campaign.

The movement has delicately tracked the changing numbers as girls have been found, holding government accountable when it has claimed that girls from other parts of Nigeria were from Chibok, coordinating with the community on direct verification with the community. And it is from BBOG that we have a running tally of how many girls remain to be rescued: 196 as at today.

In making demands of the military, they have demonstrated facility with strategy, terminology and pattern. And they have drawn from that the authority to be listened to because they come armed with the knowledge that effective engagement requires.

When people have claimed the girls were kidnapped by A, married off to B, and flown away to C, BBOG has refused to be distracted.

Where there is no evidence to the contrary, they have stuck with the last know locations of the missing girls. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo declared that the girls would never be found, and they ignored him. As if he didn’t matter.

Because he didn’t (and doesn’t) matter. All that matters are the facts.

This has earned respect, avoided distraction, and enabled efficacy.

The discipline to be unreasonable

The one plea that those comfortable with the status quo often demand from activist movements is to be reasonable, by which they often mean to move at a pace dictated not by the urgency of action but by the comfort of the negotiator. The one error these movements can make is to fall for the blackmail.

BBOG knows where the banana peels lie.

Like Jonathan, the Buhari government has treated the protesters as high-impact irritants.

Jonathan did this from a place of incompetence, Buhari does it from a place of entitlement: this government believes that, unlike its predecessor, it has (initially) treated the campaigners with deference. And for that ‘goodness’, it expects breathing space. It also believes that, since it didn’t lose the girls, it bears no direct responsibility. It is only a friendly partner trying to clean up another’s mess.

It cannot understand why the protesters will not afford it an extended runway of goodwill. And its supporters, many of whom actually agreed erroneously with the Jonathan government that BBOG was a tool of the APC, also cannot come to terms with it.

In response? BBOG has turned up the heat.

The reason is simple to those who pay attention: the target of its campaign has always been the responsible party who can find and return the girls. And that party is the Nigerian government.

Once Buhari came into power (and especially since rescuing the girls was a focal point of his campaign messaging), he automatically took responsibility for the assets and liabilities of the government he is now in charge of. And in that case, as government is a continuum, it is now the machine that lost the girls two years ago.

That might be literally unreasonable, but in terms of the philosophy of democratic governments, it is entirely judicious.

The Buhari government, like all governments, serves at the pleasure of its citizens. The citizens owe it no special concessions. It just needs to do its job.

In refusing to give this government and the one before it (and hopefully none after it, since we pray the girls are soon found) any breathing space, BBOG shows a remarkable discipline.

Nigeria’s peculiar breed of irresponsible governance demands no less. We have learnt with the #OccupyNigeria and other popular citizen action that once you relax the pressure, governments revert to type: passivity and mediocrity.

No Nigerian government deserves patience. Especially not this one that campaigned on a promise of urgency.

BBOG has made that irreducible minimum – results or nothing – abundantly clear.

The discipline of organisation

It looks like a rag tag team of young and old gathered together under a tree every week in Abuja to demand better. But do not be deceived.

Without the benefit of an office, of funding, in fact of anything but a determined group, BBOG is one of the most highly developed change organisations Nigeria has seen in its history.

The biggest miracle is in maximizing a small base to achieve maximum global impact.

Ezekwesili has constantly spoken at recorded public events of the need for advocacy institutions to move from ‘noise’ to ‘voice’; being able to organize frustration and agitation in a way that earns respect and achieves targeted outcomes. With BBOG she has walked that talk, role-modeling behaviours through her co-leadership that others can only learn from.

At the start of the protests, she whipped dramatists like now-Senator Dino Melaye into line when he tried to corner the movement, they disavowed and excluded those who either attempted violence or even considered violence as a viable tool and when the writer, Elnathan John complained publicly about the regimented structure of the movement (a strict set of demands, orderliness in front of the villa, programming of speakers and representatives), the response was simply that movements cannot be allowed to derail via the wanton, reactive passions of its front liners.

In response to government letters, it has issued its own with detail and restraint. In response to government pronouncements, it has issued its own releases. In reaction to propaganda, it has armed sympathisers with its version of events. And it has managed to coordinate several stakeholders – media, community, partners, international institutions and Malala – with deft strategy.

In this century, an organization doesn’t need an office, or titles.

If that has been the defining philosophy of scholars of modern organizations, then BBOG is the ultimate demonstration of the capacity of a people bound together by a common vision, a definite mission, and a determined capacity.


Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED (, which brands including Y!/ and governance communication firm, StateCraft Inc. Office of the Citizen (OOTC) is his syndicated essay series. Part 2 of this piece will be published on Wednesday.

Oby Ezekwesili: President Buhari’s Economic Policies are confusing.

Obiageli Ezekwesili, former vice-president of the World Bank for Africa, has described the economic policies of the current administration as “confusing”.


In a chat with The Interview, the convener of Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) said that despite the confusion, the government remains “adamant”.


Answering a question on the call for diversification, she said: “I am not a fan of the economic policies of this government so far.


“I feel it’s too tentative in making even the right policy decisions and even when it tries to make the right policy decisions, it has been in the breach. It has been very confusing.


“It’s not that the government is timid; it’s about doing the wrong things and being adamant about them.”


Citing the government’s monetary and fiscal policies as key areas of denial of “empirical evidence”, she called for structural reforms and better citizen engagement.


In the interview, conducted before the BBOG’s visit to Sambisa, Ezekwesili wept over the fate of the remaining Chibok girls, saying the episode had exposed Nigerian governments in their “worst form”.


She spoke on what she would do if President Muhammadu Buhari invited her to serve; her perception of former President Goodluck Jonathan; and her relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.


Azu Ishiekwene, MD/editor-in-chief of The Interview, described the interview as “a no-nonsense call to reflection”, saying “Oby is not treading on eggshells. It’s bareknuckle stuff”.


Source: The Cable

PRESS STATEMENT: DAY 1000 of consistent, daily #BringBackOurGirls advocacy.

One thousand days ago — April 30, 2014 — our movement started with a march by over two thousand citizens from all walks of life in the city of Abuja demanding rescue of hundreds of girls alleged to have been abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School, Chibok Borno State.
The world was later to learn from the findings of the Presidential Task Force set up by the preceding federal government that 276 schoolgirls writing their final certificate examination had been forcefully taken on the night of April 14, 2014.
The findings stated that 57 of the girls had escaped variously as their captors hauled them on the long journey into the Sambisa forest leaving 219 missing by the time the news of the abduction reached the public.
Social media starting reacting  from April 15 when the news of the abduction broke even while the traditional media in Nigeria was not reporting the tragedy. One week later on April 23, 2014 the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls emerged and became popular on social media as the widely used message of demand for the rescue of the abducted school girls.
Fifteen days later and with still no acknowledgement nor action by the federal government on the abduction, diverse citizens were convened using reach outs of all types to participate in a solidarity march for the abducted girls. That march of April 30, 2014 adopted the social media hashtag  #BringBackOurGirls as the message of the protesters. The citizens that gathered walked from the Unity Fountain under heavy rains to the Nigerian National Assembly to demand for government rescue of the school girls.
That march awakened much more people to the tragedy and in a rare demonstration of global empathy, many people organized marches in several cities in Nigeria and around the world calling for rescue of the abducted girls.  That first march went on  to become a daily “sit-out” campaign in Abuja and a weekly “shout out”  in Lagos and various advocacy activities in cities like Oshogbo, New York, Washington DC.
At the beginning, members of our movement made a promise to our #ChibokGirls couched in a question that is part of the movement’s chants: “When shall we stop?” The answer is simple: “Not until our Girls are back and alive! “Not without our daughters! The two pillars around which our advocacy was framed for 1000 days are our  shared humanity with our #ChibokGirls and the social contract between citizens and their government.
As a citizens movement, our priority has been to awaken our government to its responsibility of protecting lives and properties of its citizens like our #ChibokGirls. Our activities invariably also awakened global awareness of and some action against the cruel action of the Boko Haram terror group. Staying above the fray of politics and change of governments, our movement has remained resolute in the singularity of purpose of demanding and compelling necessary government action to rescue the Chibok girls.
That our movement — a citizens’ advocacy in Nigeria —  has lasted 1000 days is traceable to the core values on which it  is founded. Interestingly these core values make up HUMANITEEDS: Hope, Unity, Motivation, Affability, Nationalism, Integrity, Transparency, Empathy, Equity, Discipline, and Sacrifice. These are the  values that have shaped the thought processes, decisions, and actions of the movement.
Lending our contribution to solutions has also been part of our modus operandi. In 1000 days, we have not only advocated on the matter of our girls but also delivered solutions to our government and people. Below are some of the Solutions we worked on:
–         Citizens’ Solution to End Terrorism
–         Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) document
–         ABCs of Our Demand
–         Missing Persons’ Register (MPR)
–         Chronicle of false narratives by the Nigerian government on the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls
–         Options Note on Rebuilding the Northeast
These are available on our website
Key milestones achieved by BBOG include:
  • Ignited the ultimate acknowledgement of the tragedy three weeks after by the then federal government following one week of our movement’s sustained advocacy.
  • Catalytic to multi-nation meeting convened in Paris, France in May 2014 to find the abducted girls and build a sub-regional counter terrorism response.
  • The offer of leading member-nations of the UN Security Council to help rescue our ChibokGirls,
  • Crystalized the advocacy for #ChibokGirls by key global figures and the global community.
  • Saw a strong commitment made by then incoming president – Muhammadu Buhari-  that the return of our girls and other abducted citizens as the indicator of defeat of the terrorists;
  • Compelled our federal government to prioritize the effective and efficient use of resources provided for prosecuting the war and providing security more broadly. In the process, our troops in the battlefront confirm improvement in the tools necessary for war.
  • Shone the light on the scale of humanitarian tragedy that has befallen millions of our internally displaced citizens as far back as 2014 when the North East destabilization was escalating.
However none of those milestones  compared to the sense of progress that the movement celebrated when the first  Chibok girl — Amina Ali Nkeki was found by the Civilian Joint Task Force and the military on Tuesday May 17, 2016.
Subsequently two other Chibok girls — Maryam Ali and Rakiya Abubakar were also found at different times due to the activities of the military. The largest set of girls – twenty one- were released by the terrorists on October 13, 2016 following a successful negotiation with the Federal Government, the Swiss Government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. That 24 of our ChibokGirls have been given the  justice of freedom from terrorists is considered a testament that our citizens’ advocacy for them was valid despite the stiff attacks and opposition our movement attracts for our steadfast stance.
Furthermore, by making our #ChibokGirls the symbol of all other victims of Boko Haram –many of whom lost their identity in the course of the tragedy in the North East– it compelled the Nigerian military to achieve the rescue of thousands of these other Nigerians.
We also highlighted and advocated on issues related to military welfare, demanded for presidential pardon of soldiers who were wrongly sentenced to death upon being court-martialed for refusing to fight without arms. Some of such unjust sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment.
Adopting our #NigerianHonourOurHeroes initiative, we continue to champion the cause of our soldiers and their families for the risk they take at the war front and for the gallantry they show whenever any of  them die at the battlefront to safeguard people and nation.
In the last 1000 days of our advocacy,  we have become a model for the effective expression of the #OfficeOfTheCitizen which promotes demand for democratic accountability from their government.
Our movement has seen the emergence of other citizens’ advocacy groups on related issues of good governance, philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, citizens interventions and such like. The idea of the informed, engaged and active citizen is no longer a dream but already being acted upon by ordinary citizens across the country.
Our singular issue was the rescue of our Chibok girls, but it did not take our movement time to see how the lack of good governance and demand for accountability failed them on that night they were abducted. It is reason our movement insists on Good Governance.
On this tragic DAY 1000 of our advocacy, we again celebrate the efforts of our men and women in uniform who continue to place their lives on the line at the frontlines of the fight against the insurgency and in the search for our Chibok girls as well as other persons who have been abducted by Boko Haram.
Today as we ponder  the colossal tragedy of the non-return of 195 of our girls on day 1000 of daily #BringBackOurGirls advocacy, we renew our  commitment to never stop  demanding until all the remaining 195 of our missing girls are rescued. It is why we today ask the federal government to accelerate the effort it assures is being made to successfully negotiate the release of another set of 83 of our ChibokGirls.
As a movement, we do not wish to see DAY1100 without all our ChibokGirls back. #BringBackOurGirls!
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls

BBOG should stick to advocacy rather than pretending to be an opposition party – FG

The Federal Government has urged the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group to see government as a partner rather than adversary in the quest to secure the release of the Chibok girls.

In a statement in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the BBOG’s continued portrayal of the government as an adversary and the needless firing of darts at President Muhammadu Buhari, were ultimately counter-productive.

Mr. Mohammed said the president was doing his utmost best to bring the girls back home safely.

“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,” he said.

“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,’’’ he said.

The minister 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.

According to him, such “impudent’’ language should have been reserved for those who did nothing in the first 500 days of the girls’ abduction, and not for Mr. Buhari.

Mr. Mohammed said President Buhari as has presided over the liberation of all captured territory, the opening of shut schools and roads, the safe release of some of the abducted girls and the decimation of Boko Haram.

He assured Nigerians that the efforts to bring the girls back safely were continuing, but sought their understanding for not divulging any further details so as not to jeopardise 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, the better for all.

“We need a huge amount of confidence-building, the kind of which led to the release of 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 jeopardise these talks, irrespective of the pressure or provocation from any quarter,” the minister said.


Source: NAN

BBOG releases findings on Sambisa Forest tour

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) delegation that went on tour of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State has made public its observations.

Led by its convener, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili in company of Aisha Yesufu, Ibrahim Usman, a representative of Chibok community, Dr. Manasseh Allen as well as local and foreign media organisations, the group embarked on the January 16 and 17, 2017 guided exercise led by the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd) and his Information and Culture counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

In their report, the delegation confirmed interacting with the leadership of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), just as they expressed satisfaction at the personnel and equipment on ground.

“Furthermore, the presentation by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on the training and human capital development strategy of the force enabled us to appreciate its plans for the future. We saw that data, knowledge and information analysis play a significant role in the strategy of NAF prosecuting the air component of the war.

“Our exposure to the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform and the technical room of NAF indicated the level of adoption of technology in the prosecution of the war,” the report read in part.

The BBOG team also appreciated the synergy between NAF and the Nigerian Army, which prosecutes the ground component of the offensive.

The report added: “We were provided data and imagery evidence to show that the search for our Chibok girls and other abducted citizens is a daily activity by NAF. The data sheet showing the summary of all search operations was displayed with the following key data points over the last 18 months: Total missions to Sambisa General Area – 2,105, number of sorties— 3,534, time/hour of flight – 6,323, fuel cost: Over N2.4 billion.”

According to the group, the three-hour search flight on the ISR medium at 15,000 feet, provided members the opportunity to have a clear view of the Theatre of War in the once dreaded forest.


Source: Guardian

A misguided tour and the plight of Boko Haram victims – By Musa Hassan-Tom

As the battle against the book haram terrorists draws close to an end, the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government should not allow itself to be cornered into a situation of winning the battle and losing the war by pandering to vested interests.

While the battle to defeat the insurgents has largely been successful, the task of attending to the needs of both internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries with a view to ameliorating their plight in the short term and creating conducive environment for their return to their ransacked communities have largely remain un-addressed by the Federal Government.

Even as UN donor agencies and activists like Oluwakayode Ogundamisi who take various degrees of risks to visit the IDPs camps continue to sound the alarm bell in respect of the unfolding human tragedy, the Federal Government would rather dismiss the call for urgent action and indulge in celebrating victory of winning the war.

The recent “guided tour” of Sambisa forest, the erstwhile stronghold of Boko Haram with conveners of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement is one of such political showmanship which only helps in shifting the focus from the unfolding tragedy that the government is denying.

In an uncanny turn of events, the present APC government which used the Chibok Girls saga when campaigning against the erstwhile government of President Goodluck Jonathan by leveraging on the activities of the #BBOG movement and its celebrity activists, now has to kowtow to the movement for fear of political backlash from the celebrity activists that have loud voice in the social media circles.

The conditions of IDPs in the various camps in Maiduguri, Borno State and other locations remain squalid with children dying of malnutrition and associated diseases. The exploitation and shortchanging of IDPs by government agencies and certain ‘big men’ in high places have been documented and yet no one has been held to account despite President Buhari’s vow to punish the culprits.

The Presidential Initiative on the Northeast which is under the direct supervision of the Presidency has become a conduit pipe for slush funds as it engages in self-serving expenditures without catering for immediate needs of the IDPs while planning for the long term need of rebuilding and resettling the IDPs back to their communities. The indictment of the SGF and Presidential Initiative on the Northeast by the Senate ad hoc Committee on the Northeast cannot be waved away.

The guided tour delegation of the Federal Government and the #BBOG movement conveners should have visited the IDP camps in the Northeast to evaluate the plight of all victims of the Boko Haram insurgency and the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing same.

One is at loss at what the tour sought to achieve and what it has actually achieved. The Federal Government figuratively and literally took the #BBOG conveners for a ride and after hovering over Sambisa forest, they came back to tell us that they discovered that Sambisa has a land mass of 60,000M2..

That is not exactly true but even if it is true what value has the revelation added to either the search for the Chibok girls or the plight of the other victims of Boko Haram? The tour was a misguided adventure!

The Chibok girls’ abduction is a fraction of the tragedy that has occurred and is still unfolding. The #BBOG movement ought to have organized a tour of the IDP camps even without government’s prompting to see first-hand, and verify the unfolding humanitarian crisis if its objective is altruistic and beyond grandstanding.

The bait of the guided tour of Sambisa forest which the #BBOG conveners fail for, further exposes the motives of the movement as they went all the way from Abuja and flew our Sambisa but did not bother to stop by and have a tour of the IDPs and their host communities to get direct assessment of humanitarian issues on the ground. Like all tragedies Nigeriana, Boko Haram terrorism became a launching pad into power, politics, governance and activism for many with the sole motive of self-aggrandizement.

The bitter public spat between the #BBOG movement and one of the daughters of President Buhari on the alleged use of the #BBOG hashtag in raising funds for a charity affiliated with her working with the Boko Haram victims sometime last year, leaves one wondering whether #BBOG has become a trademark of a franchise.

The Cable online news recently went undercover to investigate the plight of IDPs and the unfolding humanitarian disaster and its reports largely corroborated what the UN donor agencies have been sounding. Earlier on, an activist, Oluwakayode Ogundamisi, also took a tour of the IDP camps at Maiduguri all the way from the UK where he resides to see firsthand the plight of the victims of book haram. He gave a vivid and detailed report of his findings which he shared on twitter and also forwarded a report to the Presidency in that regard.

Instead of the President to reappraise his strategy, if any, for catering for the IDPs in the short-term and rebuilding of destroyed communities and settlements, the Presidency seems more interested in scoring political points and placating celebrity activists than walking the talk.

While acknowledging the fact that the kidnap of the Chibok School girls by Boko Haram was no doubt a tragedy of no small proportion and no efforts should be spared in ensuring the return of the remaining schoolgirls back to their families and community, the Federal Government must equally pay attention to the plight of all victims of the Boko Haram insurgency and not just pander to the celebrity activists like the #BBOG and their likes who zero their activities on the return of the Chibok girls without blinking an eye to the light of other victims of the tragedy.

The conveners of #BBOG movement have largely succeeded in creating “celebrity victimhood’ of their ilk out of the Chibok schoolgirls than taking a holistic approach to the plight and cause of all victims of Boko Haram. The celebrity status of the conveners of the #BBOG movement with its social media clout has distorted the reality and proportion of those directly affected by the crisis.

Many young girls and married ladies were abducted and taken as spoil of war in all the communities ransacked by Boko Haram during the height of the insurgency. So also, many young men and boys of school age were killed just as the Bunyadi boys whose martyrdom has not attracted the required media attention and sympathy.

The accidental bombing of an IDP camp at Rann, Kala Balge Local Government Area by the Nigerian Air Force yesterday which occasioned casualties yet to be ascertained, has once again reminded us that the plight of Boko Haram victims remains an unfolding tragedy that all stakeholders have to cooperate and coordinate to address.

The war against Boko Haram cannot be declared won until the last abductee in the custody these terrorists is freed, all communities rebuilt with IDPs and refugees resettled, and not just when all the Chibok girls are freed from Boko Haram.

In the interim, the death of infants at the IDP camps due to malnutrition and associated diseases must be given the desired attention. The sexual harassment and molestation at IDP camps must also be eliminated and efforts towards rebuilding, resettling and rehabilitating the affected communities must begin in earnest even as the gallant troops of the army supported by the Nigerian Air Force and the Navy continue to pursue the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists.

Hassan-Tom, an indigene of Borno state, is a Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner

Mild Drama At Airport As BBOG, Others Depart For Sambisa Tour

A mild drama ensued at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday as members of the Bring Back Our Girls Group arrived to join other delegates heading for the North East to witness first-hand the military’s ongoing search for the Chibok Girls.

After initially stating certain conditions upon which the it will accept the offer by the Federal Government to join the tour, the BBOG group yesterday rescinded its earlier decision not to join the tour following the rejection of the conditions by the government.

Upon arriving at the airport, members of the group were told that they will be flying in an aircraft with the selected local and international journalists joining the tour, while government functionaries will fly in another aircraft.

But leader of the group and former minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili rejected the arrangement. She insisted that the members must fly in the same aircraft with the Minister of Information who is also part of the delegation on the trip.

The BBOG members protested mildly until the minister agreed he will fly in the same aircraft that will convey the journalists and others on the trip.

The aircraft conveying the delegation departed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 9am and they are expected to first arrive Yola from where a select group will join the NAF search mission to Sambisa.

Below are photos of the delegates at the airport.

FG Fulfils BBOG’s Fresh Condition To Accept Sambisa Tour Offer

The Federal Government has fulfilled the fresh condition given by the Bring Back Our Girls Group to accept the offer to travel with the team heading for the NE to witness first-hand the military’s ongoing search for the Chibok Girls.

Abusidiqu had reported that the BBOG had rescinded it’s earlier decision not to accept the offer until the fulfillment of certain conditions and had even nominated four members of the group to be a part of the tour.

Although the report stated that the government is yet to confirm the decision of the group, further details available to Abusidiqu indicates that the BBOG at about 8:20pm Sunday evening communicated to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, its decision to accept the offer to travel with the team.

However, the group requested the FG to furnish it with more details of the tour duration and detailed logistics including the names of the local and international media on the delegation.

“We need those information to enable us send you a more substantial letter conveying our acceptance to join the “Guided Tour”, leader of the Group, Oby Ezekwesili said in her communication to the FG.

On its part, the Federal Government expressed gladness for the willingness of the group to reconsider its decision not to join the trip.

It said: “the trip will last two days, starting on Monday, 16 Jan. 2017. The team will be ferried to Yola by the
Nigerian Air Force, from where a select group will join the NAF search mission to Sambisa”

On the list of the local and international journalists accompanying the team, the FG listed Stanley Nwosu of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Fred Ayo and Anthony Forson of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) as well as Solomon Chung of the Voice of Nigeria (VON).

Others listed include Amaka Okafor and Kabiru Owoyomi of Channels TV, Ariyo Obagbemile FMIC Photographer. Felix Onuah (Reuters), Rotimi Jikanmi (NAN), and Ola Awoniyi of AFP.

The FG further added that while The Times of London Correspondent is on standby, Sola Fabiyi of Punch Newspapers, Samson Adeleke of CCT (To syndicate video to international broadcasters), Joseph Mutah of CPS and Seun of The Nation would also be on the trip.

The FG gave details of the programme of the tour to include Arrival on Monday do the exercise and depart Tuesday for Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR). It said the programme is broadly ISR Day/ Night – planning brief, Flight over Sambisa, debrief, ex wash up / Media Interview.

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.

BBOG Reconvenes, Focuses On Poor Governance And Corruption.

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), campaign group, is seeking to draw attention to poor governance and corruption in Nigeria.

The group which has on Wednesday, reconvened in a third day of protests, said they are out again on the streets to call attention to what they term the increasing effects of bad governance and corruption in the country.

They met at their usual spot, the Unity Park, Abuja, while calling on the authorities to probe all office holders accused of corrupt enrichment.

The co-convener of the group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, told Channels Television that the members are concerned about the growing reports of such corrupt officials.

She said that the group is also pressing for the return of the remaining Chibok girls, which has been the core of the campaign.

On Tuesday, the BBOG focused on better welfare for the soldiers in the northeast.

1000th Day

It became 1,000 days on January 8, since 276 girls were abducted by Boko Haram militants from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

Some of them have since been released while others managed to escape, but at least 195 girls are still in captivity.

Their abduction drew international attention to the activities of the armed group in Nigeria’s north-east region, with several world leaders including former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, calling for the girls’ release.

Meanwhile, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has restated the commitment of the federal government in securing the release of the remaining youngsters.

BBOG In Third Day Campaign Pushes For Soldiers’ Welfare.

Members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group have again reconvened at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, this time, in addition to seeking the release of the abducted Chibok girls, they are pushing for soldiers’ welfare.

The co-convener of the group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, told Channels Television that the focus of the third day gathering was to press for a better welfare for soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army.

Dr. Ezekwesili explained that the group was appalled with the way soldiers at the war front were treated by the authorities.

She said Tuesday’s protest, apart from seeking the release of the remaining Chibok girls, would also focus on what she called the military project and welfare of the officers.

Recently, a video emerged where soldiers were seen protesting non-availability of water and ammunition needed to prosecute the war against Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast.

Depressed looking Rakiya Abubkar was recovered by troops of the Nigerian Army on January 5.

Several soldiers have been killed in counter-insurgency war in the northeast while some have been maimed.

Boko Haram terrorists had in 2014 April abducted over 200 girls from their school’s dormitory in Chibok.

Since their abduction, less than 70 of the girls have been rescued by the military.

The BBOG group has held series of protests to make the government heighten efforts to rescue the girls.

Last week, one of the girls was recovered with her six-month baby.

The spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman, confirmed the girl’s recovery on January 5.

He stated that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, during investigation of arrested suspected Boko Haram terrorists, discovered one of the abducted Chibok School girls, Rakiya Abubkar, with her six months old baby.

Ezekwesili: We thought Chibok girls would be freed within 30 days

Oby Ezekwesili, leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement, says it is a “monumental failure” that the federal government has not rescued the remaining 195 Chibok girls after 1,000 days in the hands of the Boko Haram insurgents.

The girls were abducted in April 2014 from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

Addressing members of the BBOG movement, Ezekwesili described the inability of the federal government to rescue the rest of the girls as the “saddest occurrence in the history of our country”.

“We never imagined that it will last more than 30 days, then 60 days came, then two years,” she said.

“We have had two governments and yet we have girls who want to be educated still in the grip of terrorists and on Day 500 we had our on our global week of action and we did say that 500 days was too long for citizens to wait, for parents to wait for their daughters to be rescued.

“Today, it is 500 times two. You can imagine how much of a monumental failure it is that 195 of our Chibok girls are still in terrorist captivity.”

Reading a statement on behalf of the group, Aisha Yesufu, another leader, said the federal government contradicted itself by “the recent declaration and celebration of the capture of Sambisa forest as the end of the war”.

“This action is contrary to the pledge that Mr President and the military have made repeatedly that they would not declare victory without the rescue of our Chibok Girls and all other abducted victims of terrorist abduction,” she said.

“Sambisa’s ‘Camp Zero’ is the same stronghold in which the Federal Government stated that the girls were being held and the 21 released were from there. Should parents, communities, Nigerians and the world assume that the Federal Government has given up on the Chibok Girls and other abductees?

“As with the Jonathan administration, the Buhari administration’s response to issues about the Chibok girls is representative of its handling of other issues – insecurity, welfare of internally displaced persons, military welfare, corruption and poor governance.

“Painfully, #Day1000 of their tragic abduction is here and there has been no status report provided by the federal government.”

While on a march to the presidential villa on Sunday, the police made an attempt to stop BBOG movement’s procession but they eventually got to the entrance of the three arms zone.

#NigeriansHonorOurHeroes: BBOG holds event to celebrate Nigeria’s Fallen Heroes tomorrow.

As earlier announced, tomorrow 12 November 2016 between 5 and 7 pm there shall be a special event to honour the patriotism and sacrifice of Nigerian troops who have passed on, most especially those fighting the counter-insurgency war in Northeast Nigeria. This is to demonstrate how much we Nigerians appreciate them and their families, for effort and sacrifice to keep us protected.

This event shall hold at Unity Fountain Abuja. Formal invitations have gone out to the Ministry of Defence, the Defence, Army, Navy, Air force, and Police headquarters, as well as their respective officers’ wives associations. We are also working with the various associations of ex-servicemen, and non-governmental and civil society organisations (NGOs/CSOs) involved with activities of honouring our heroes.
The key features of tomorrow‘s event include tributes to our heroes by families, friends, colleagues, and citizens. There shall also be prayers, and close with a candlelight procession within the venue.

Kindly make arrangements to attend and invite others. Please share as many images along with names of our departed heroes with the hashtag #NigeriansHonorOurHeroes to show appreciation and honour their memory.

Sesugh Akume
#BringBackOurGirls Spokesperson

BBOG Tasks Journalists On Chibok Girls

The #BringBackOurGirls(BBOG) group has called on  journalists in country to continue to report the issue of the abducted girls until the remaining 197 girls are brought back home to re-unite with their families.

Speaking during its normal sit-out yesterday, one its members,  Fati Abba-Kaka stated that the role of journalists is pivotal in pushing the federal government to do the needful and bring the remaining girls back.

She also urged the media to give the 21 released Chibok girls some space to allow them adjust to a normal life after the trauma they had passed through.

Recall that last week, the co-covener of the  #BBOG, Dr Oby Ezekwesili has frowned over media frenzy on the released 21 Chibok girls, as they needed to adjust slowly to nomalcy.

Ezekwesili, who was speaking during the sit-out of the group yesterday , expressed fear that the constant media frenzy and picture taking would affect the adjustment of the girls into nomalcy.

“The girls are being made to forget quickly. That is not how it should be. I worry how this rapid semblance of normancly will affect the girls. It can be dangerous.

“We are not satisfied with the approach. In what I have learnt, people had passed through the trauma like that of the Chibok girls should not be  exposed to  frequent interaction. The girls has gone through a lot, physically, psychological and morally. The process have to be managed in a systematic way. We need to get a good handle on them so that we won’t regret latter,” she added.

“There needs to be an adjustment process which we think it is not happening. Enough with the pictures. We don’t need all that. The most important is their families and their care givers. We don’t need the pictures of the girls every where. We are not the implementers. We are an advocacy group and getting the girls to be wholesome is the responsibility of the government. Recession has not gotten  where the government cannot do an adjustment programme for them. We are not satisfied. Enough of th pictures. Stop moving them about. There is a long journey to them fully coming back,” she said.


BBOG group knocks Buhari’s daughter for raising N3.5m ‘with its brand name’

The BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group has expressed shock at the use of its brand name at a fundraising by Hadiza Buhari-Bello, President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter.

At the event, which was held on Monday, the Peace Corps of Nigeria donated N3.5m to Africa Support and Empowerment Initiative, a non-governmental organisation owned by Buhari-Bello as part of an endowment fund for the Chibok girls.

“Bringbackourgirls” was inscribed boldly on the backdrop of the event.

But the advocacy group led by Oby Ezekwesili has disassociated itself from the event, promising to issue a response through its lawyer, Femi Falana.

In a statement signed by Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, the group said the organisers of the event were trying to smear its hard-earned name.

The BBOG group emphasised that it was a self-funded movement, and not a money-making NGO.

Hadiza Buhari-Bello 2

“Following repeated enquiries from the media, we stumbled upon information of an event tagged ‘Official Inauguration and Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Chibok Girls Endowment Project’ organised by the ‘Peace Corps of Nigeria’ and ‘Africa Support and Empowerment Initiative,’ with Hadiza Buhari-Bello,” the statement read.

“We are shocked, perplexed and completely dumbfounded to see the bold inscription of our hard-earned name, #BringBackOurGirls, on the event’s backdrop. We state categorically that we are not party to the said event and have absolutely no information of its origin. We urge the general public to disregard attempts at linking our movement to this highly suspicious event.

“After 902 days of painstaking advocacy, it is disheartening and unfortunate to suddenly see attempts, by external actors, to use it for selfish purposes. We have carefully built our reputation as a well-organised and disciplined global movement that is completely self-funded.

“The deliberate decision, to remain funded by sacrificial contributions of members for our very negligible needs, is the reason we are solely a Citizens’ Movement, and not an NGO. It will be highly injurious to allow it be dragged in the mud at this point. We therefore demand an immediate retraction and unreserved apology from the organisers.

“Together with our lawyers, Femi Falana & Co., we are considering a response to this attempt to smear our movement. We call on the general public and law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for unscrupulous persons who may already be/are planning similar nefarious acts to deceive the local and international community.”?

Speaking with TheCable, Onwuka Don Uche, national secretary of the NGO, said he tried to reach members of the BBOG group but failed at every turn.

“I tried to contact members of the group, but I couldn’t reach any of them,” he said.

“I dropped a message for Oby Ezekwesili on Twitter, but there was no response. We will reach out to group. It is purely a fund for the Chibok girls, and we want to make BBOG a signatory to the account.”

BBOG: Official Position on the Negotiated Release of 21 #ChibokGirls

We welcome reports from the Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, of the negotiated release of 21 of our abducted #ChibokGirls today. This wonderful development confirms what we have always known about the capacity of our goverment to rescue our #ChibokGirls.

While awaiting further details, we take this opportunity to salute the work of our security services at the front lines – the commitment, resilience and tireless efforts of our members of the Multi-national Joint Task Force and the civilian JTF. We also thank the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss government and all negotiators involved in securing the release.

Following this development, we trust that our government will continue to work to keep the safety, security, and well-being of the other girls a high priority. We further urge the international community to continue to support our government’s effort to rescue all other abducted Nigerians, so that parents, the Chibok community, the nation, and the world can finally put an end to this nightmare once and for all.

“PMB Didn’t Kidnap Chibok Girls, Stop Coming To Aso Rock” – Presidential Aide

Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has stated, in clear terms, that the Bring Back Our Girls Group, BBOG, group would never again be allowed into the presidential villa again to protest.

The BBOG advocacy, last week, gave President Muhammadu Buhari some tips on how to go about rescuing the captive Chibok Girls abducted since April 14, 2014 by Boko Haram.

Ojudu, yesterday, said the group was making the protest look like President Buhari look like he detained the Chibok girls.

Ojudu stated that: “Since the President came to power, he has met with them thrice. And it is looking like look, you are making this thing appear as if I am the one detaining those girls. I am not detaining them. You are only going to protest to me if I am the one detaining them.

“If you allow the BBOG to go into the villa everyday to carry out their campaign, what time would the President have to do his work?

“Will that not be calling for disorder? In UK, anyone who has something to say goes to Trafalgar Square. The media will meet you there. They don’t enter into 10, Downing Street.

“So, if the BBOG can restrict its campaign to the Unity Square, no body will stop them. But to say that everyday you want to go to the bedroom in the office of the President, that for me is bad,” Ojudu said.

A rights group, SERAP, recently appealed to the United Nations to stop authorities from harassing the BBOG campaigners for legitimately demanding for the freedom of the Chibok Girl from Boko Haram.

BBOG To Tackle Buhari At UN Meeting In New York Over Chibok Girls

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group has said it would protest against the failure of the Federal Government secure the release of the abducted Chibok girls at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City.

The group said it would demand the release of the Chibok girls through a letter it plans to submit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the meeting.

In a notice sent to supporters and journalists, the group said, “On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly commences in New York. World leaders, including Nigeria’s President Buhari, will be there to discuss various issues plaguing our world, including the global refugee crisis.

“If you are in New York, please join global citizens, as we stand in solidarity with 218#ChibokGirls and thousands more still in Boko Haram captivity on Wednesday, September 14, at 3 p.m., to deliver a letter to President Buhari, to remind him of his campaign promise to#BringBackOurGirls, who have now been in captivity for 882 days.

“Join us as we remind the United Nations and the world that the #ChibokGirls are never to be forgotten. #HopeEndures. Gathering Time: 3 p.m., Location: 828 Second Avenue (2nd and 44th), New York, New York 10017, PLEASE, WEAR RED!”


IGP’s ban on public protest illegal – Falana

Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has described the ban by Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, on public protests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as illegal.

Ibrahim gave the directive on Wednesday following a “clash” between the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaigners and a pro- President Muhammadu Buhari group in Abuja, on Wednesday.

Falana lamented that through the ban, the IGP had “exposed the federal government to avoidable embarrassment.”

He said: “Sequel to the purported clash, the Inspector-General of Police had called the BBOG members and announced an illegal ban on public protests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Since the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people (including former members of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) who are now in the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government) to assemble peacefully and demonstrate without any official harassment have been upheld by Nigerian courts, the illegal ban on public protests in the Federal Capital Territory by the Inspector-General of Police will not be allowed to stand.

“More so, that it is principally aimed at stopping the demand for the unconditionally release of the Chibok girls from the illegal incarceration of the Boko Haram sect.”

Falana said instead of “demonizing” the BBOG campaigners, the country owed them a duty “for upholding our collective humanity.”

He continued: “By accusing the BBOG campaigners of engaging in subversion by legitimately demanding for the abducted Chibok girls, the Inspector-General of Police has exposed the federal government to avoidable embarrassment.

“Since the BBOG members  have demonstrated unprecedented courage and determination to continue to protest until Chibok girls are brought back home, the police and the security forces should be directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to desist from harassing them in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.”

Falana added that through “selfless sacrifice and uncommon commitment,” the BBOG campaigners mounted a global campaign “which drew the attention of all men and women of goodwill to the plight of the innocent girls and the mental and the psychological agony to which their parents have been subjected.”

“In particular, the BBOG members have successfully mobilised the United Nations (UN), world leaders and the global human rights community to demand for the unconditional release of the abducted girls.

“But for the effective campaign which has been relentlessly waged by the BBOG members through peaceful protests which are held on a daily basis at Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Government and the Nigerian people would have forgotten about the Chibok girls.”

Leader of the #BringBackOurGirls (#BBOG) advocacy Oby Ezekwesili said yesterday that nobody could threaten them since they were bonafide citizens of the country.

Ezekwesili, who added that their rights are guaranteed by the constitution, advised the Inspector General of Police  to educate himself properly about democracy and citizens’ right to peaceful assembly.

She also said the previous administration administration used similar tactics to try to violate their rights but their rights was upheld by the constitution and court.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, at the usual sitout of the group, Ezekwesili said,

“Our response is he should ask for the file that recorded our advocacy between 2014 and 2015 when the previous administration used all kinds of tactics similar to this one to try to violate our constitutional liberty, not only did the constitution uphold that right, the court also upheld our rights, he should just read this files, he should be able to find what he needs in order to educate himself properly about democracy and citizens right to peaceful assembly.

“We are a peaceful movement as everyone knows, so we are not changing anything, no retreat, no surrender, are our girls back? If the government says that we are unreasonable in demanding for our Chibok girls in the way that we have been demanding for them since 2014, they need to show the evidence that counters our stance.

“For us as a movement, we plead for the rescue video of August 14th which is an incredible opportunity for our government, which really conveyed a message to the world.”

The unity fountain was devoid of police presence by the time of the sitout.

The policemen who took positions at the Abuja Fountain earlier in the day left before the sitout started.

BBOG Protesters Not A Security Threat, Soyinka Replies IG

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, warned against the use of force against the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners, saying that the group should be given their space to protest.

He also noted that protests by the group could not be too much as long as the Chibok girls remained Boko Haram captives.

Soyinka said this at a symposium to start the 20th anniversary programme of Halifield Schools, Maryland, Lagos.

The social commentator, who delivered the keynote address, added that  peaceful demonstration was a democratic right which could not constitute threats to national security and public order.

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had on Wednesday, warned the BBOG campaigners against continuing with their street processions, which he said constituted a security threat to public peace and order.

He stated that the police “will not sit on the fence and watch such a scenario unfold.”

But Soyinka, while reacting to the IG’s comments at the occasion, noted that it would be dangerous to forget the missing Chibok girls, saying that it could boost their morale and teach pupils in the country the need to stand up for their rights.

‘‘I saw a report in a national daily that demonstrations on behalf of the Chibok girls pose a threat to national security and I thought, not again. My mind flew back immediately to another governor under whose democratic leadership, parents were tear-gassed for demonstrating peacefully about losing their children in a plane crash in Port Harcourt.

 “Democracy is not just about campaigning. It is exercising human rights. It is about helping to build the society. Demonstrations cannot be too much as long as those girls are missing. Demonstrations are an act of solidarity. Wherever they are today, when their mothers demonstrate on their behalf, their morale is raised.

“That is my message to security operatives who get scared of those who are agitating for a cause and fire tear gas at them. They must be treated with utmost respect and must be given their space. It is an act of solidarity for the children. Otherwise, when you stop these demonstrations, you are saying forget about the children,’’ he said.

Soyinka, who also urged the Federal Government and its agencies to speak with one voice, said Nigerians should express solidarity with the missing girls and their families.

Read More:

Calls For Buhari’s Resignation Is Condemnable – Group Tells BBOG

The Global Excellence Foundation has berated the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaigners over call that President Muhammadu Buhari should resign from office if he cannot rescue the Chibok Girls from the dreaded Boko haram insurgents.


Country Representative of the foundation, Prof Yemi Ola, while briefing journalists in Abuja said it is on record that securing the release of the girls from captivity has been a major priority of the President Buhari administration.


He said, “We understand that there is some measure of frustration in the land that the girls are yet to be freed up until this moment and we further appreciate the anguish of parents who had thought their nightmares would have been over by now.


“This anguish has only been further worsened by the video that the terrorists recently released of the girls.”
He however said the call by the BBOG group for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign if he cannot secure the girls’ release is therefore condemnable in the strongest terms possible.


He said such call marks the height of ingratitude to the President, the Nigerian Armed Forces and the families of those of those who lost their loved ones fighting for the rescue and liberation of the north east zone from Boko Haram insurgents.

He said, “It is even more worrisome that BBOG appropriated the identities of parents of the missing girls to make that demand since the parents have already indicated that they would rather not be confrontational with the government and the military that have been doing their best to free the girls.”


He added Nigerians must appeal to BBOG and Ezekwesili not to further take steps that continue to jeopardize the safety of the girls or the possibility of their being rescued, adding that it is also suspect that the group makes it seem like normal to openly discuss the sensitive details of what is being done to rescue the girls.


He therefore suggest that the parents of the Chibok Girls should press ahead with the closed door talks they plan to have with the government devoid of any taint from BBOG, adding that they should concentrate on discussing specifics with government officials and the military so that they can arrive at practical approaches and solutions that will ensure the girls are rescued.


We urge the government to make sure that the confidence the parents have expressed in them is not for nothing. President Buhari must designate officials with strict instructions to sustain an open line of communication with the parents.


The issue of how to rescue the girls or discussing the progress being made is too sensitive to be discussed at the approach of the Presidential Villa during protests,” he said.

Army Confirms Rescue Of One Of Chibok Girls

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday confirmed the rescue of one of the Chibok school girls abducted in 2014 by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno.

This is contained in a statement issued by the acting Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman.

According to Usman, the girl, Falmata Mbalala, is among other persons rescued by troops at Baale community near Damboa in Borno.

He, however, did not state when the girl and other hostages were rescued by the troops.

“This is to confirm that one of the abducted chibok school girls, Falmata Mbalala, was among the rescued persons by our troops at Baale near Damboa,’’ the statement quoted Usman as saying.

On the ongoing special operation inside the Sambisa forest, Usman said troops of 7 Division on Tuesday cleared Boko Haram terrorists out of their Njimia camp in Sambisa.

He said the troops had earlier on the same day killed 15 insurgents during an operation to clear their camp located at Alafa area of the forest.

According to Usman, the troops continued their advance through Alafa main, Alafa extension and Alafa Yaga-yaga and cleared Boko Haram terrorists hiding in the area.

He said apart from destroying the camps, the troops rescued 41 hostages who were mostly women and children.

Usman added that the troops also recovered two Dane guns, several vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles belonging to the terrorists.

“One significant aspect of this feat today was the combination of ground forces assault, Nigerian Air Force Jets provision for combat air support and monitoring of the operation.

“The operation was directly supervised by the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brig.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu on board Air Force reconnaissance aircraft.

“It is gratifying to note that no casualty was recorded by own troops through the conduct of this operation,’’ the statement said.



Buhari Losing Track Of Promises To Rescue Chibok Girls- BBOG

Conveners of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group have accused President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of losing sight of promises it made to rescue over 219 Chibok girls who are still in Boko Haram’s captivity.

In a press statement co-signed by Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu over the weekend, they said it is unfortunate that the Chibok Girls, their parents and communities, Nigeria and the rest of the world are still awaiting a successful rescue mission 762 days after the Chibok abduction.

According to them, recent developments seem to suggest that officials of the present administration may have lost track of many promises of the government.

“With the disgraceful and unpalatable shoddiness that characterized the handling of the abduction and counter-insurgency war by the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration still fresh in mind, President Buhari’s team cannot afford to drop the ball again,” the statement read in part.

The group urged the Federal Government to initiate a fresh investigation into the abduction as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It also called for the release of the Sabo report, which is expected to hold the keys to unlocking the mystery of the abduction.

The converners also want the Presidency to strengthen the office of the Special Adviser on Social Investments to cover humanitarian interventions and development programs in the Northeast and the country at large.

Credit: dailytrust

Police Block #BBOG Activists From Presidential Villa

Anti-riot policemen have blocked the BringBackOurGirls members from accessing the presidential villa where they planned to hold a press conference.

The DPO, Asokoro Police Station, CSP, Grace Longe said the protesters cannot be allowed to access the villa for security reasons.

The BBOG is currently holding its world media conference to commemorate the two years anniversary of the abduction of 219 Chibok schoolgirls at the entrance road to the presidential villa.

Credit: Punch

BBOG To March To Villa To Demand For The Release Of Chibok Girls

The advocacy group for the release of the Chibok girls, Bring Back Our Girls Group BBOG, will be matching to the Presidential villa on Jan. 14th to continue their demand for the release of the Chibok girls. Leader of the group and former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, while speaking at the group’s daily sit-out in Abuja yesterday January 6th, said the need for the march is born out of the recent remarks made by President Buhari during his media chat that the Nigerian govt has no credible intelligence about the Chibok girls.

“After our meeting with the President, we had promised not to disperse but continue to meet until the girls are back. But the feed back we got from the government, did not encourage us. It kept saying that there was no credible intelligence about the girls. On January 14, 2016, we will walk all the way to the Villa and we will remind the president of the promise he made in the Villa during our meeting with him and also during his inauguration and every time he spoke about our Chibok girls. We will remind him that if there is anybody that will be uncomfortable that the girls are not yet rescued, it should be him,” she said

FG Still Tracking Chibok Girls – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has restated commitment of the Federal Government to tracking and locating the missing Chibok girls.

Mohammed said it was important for the military to adopt less lethal procedures compared with the drastic measures employed by neigbouring countries along the Sambisa Forest.

He said the public should commend the military and provide needed information to further decapitate the insurgents.
Mohammed, who spoke to Channels TV via phone, stated that, “We are a bit constrained. I know that some countries have set certain fire around the Sambisa forest in order to smoke out the Boko Haram insurgents but we are being careful because we are still looking for the Chibok girls and we do not want unnecessary collateral casualties.

“I know that many of our neighbours like Mali and Niger have employed certain procedures because of our major objective that we are still looking for the Chibok girls, so in some parts of Sambisa forest, we cannot adopt such drastic approaches.”


The 235 Chibok girls were declared missing for about 300 days, while efforts were made to ensure their safe arrival.

The Minister stated that prior to the assumption of the current administration; the entire north east was almost taken over by the insurgents.

However, he restated need to applaud the military for recovering about 20 local governments from the entire councils lose to the sect.

“People must own the war. They must report suspicious movements and complement efforts of the military. How many bars or football viewing centres in Lagos can you secure? No, but if you have enough information to beef up the security, it would help,” he added.


“That is absolutely incorrect. It is possible for insurgents to lay ambush on the road. It doesn’t mean that they are in control of those local governments. I travelled 89 kilometres from Maiduguri to Bama.

“We are not saying we are going to route or eliminate ambush or attacks overnight. It’s never done in any insurgency but what we are just giving the fact, less than a year ago, the entire north east was almost in their control, today they don’t have that kind of command. It’s just about one local government that they have swayed at all,” the Minister said.

He emphasized that the public should complement efforts of the military by contributing to intelligence gathering.

Chibok girls: FG has opened negotiations with Boko Haram – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in France stated that his government has kicked off negotiations with Boko Haram to secure the release of over 200 Chibok girls.

It will be recalled that about 219 school girls were abducted by the Sect from their school in Chibok Community, Borno State over a year ago.

Speaking with members of the Nigerian community in France under the auspices of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), president who is currently on a three day official visit to the frnech country stated that the global attention and sympathy the ugly incident has attracted informed the negotiation.

He however disclosed that the government was making frantic effort to determine the genuine leaders of the group.

President Buhari also vowed not to release the developer of the Sect’s IED’s which according to him was a condition advanced by the Group of releasing the girls.

He said: “The issue of Chibok girls has occupied our minds and because of the international attention it drew and the sympathy through out the country and the world, the government is negotiating with some of the Boko Haram leadership.”

“It is a very sensitive development in the sense that first we have to establish, are they genuine leaders of the Boko Haram. That is number one. Number two, what are their terms, the first impression we had was not very encouraging.

“They wanted us to release one of their leaders who is a strategic person in developing and making Improvised IEDs that is causing a lot of havoc in the country by blowing people in Churches, Mosque, market places, motor parks and other places. But is very important that if we are going to talk to any body, we have to know how much he is worth.

According to him, “Let them bring all the girls and then, we will be prepared to negotiate, I will allow them to come back to Nigeria or to be absolved in the community. We have to be very careful, the concern we have for the Chibok girls, one only imagine if they got a daughter there between 14 and 18 and for more than one and a half year, a lot of the parents who have died would rather see the graves of their daughters rather the condition they imagine they are in.”

He added that “This has drawn a lot of sympathy though out the world, that is why this government is getting very hard in negotiating and getting the balance of those who are alive.”

President Buhari also assured the Nigerian community that his government would revitalise the economy and restore the glory days of Nigeria.

Some members who fielded questions requested the president to factor in the sufferings of the disabled in the Country just as they also asked to be accorded voting rights during elections.



Photos From BBOG’s Rally In Abuja

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and Shiekh Nuru Imam joined members of the Bring Back Our Girls group in a peaceful rally to commemorate 500 days since the Chibok girls were abducted by Boko Haram members. The advocacy group also had a candle light session this evening. They tied red ribbons on some trees in Abuja to serve as a constant reminder that the girls are still not back. More photos below…



“I am tired of the tears. I am tired of the sorrows. I am tired of the fear and apprehension. I am tired of being tired. Just #BringBackOurGirls”- Aisha Yesufu, Co-Convener, Bring Back Our Girls.

Azanat is missing!

We have checked everywhere we could think of, even the oddest places that would not even hold a needle. Rationality isn’t just common in a situation of pandemonium, especially when an Elizabeth’s lone child strayed from under our tentacles.

“Where could she be?” Rhetoric!

Her mother, my aunt, the younger sister of my mother, was already throwing herself here and there, stomping barefooted carelessly; howling, beating herself by the hips repeatedly, her hands flaying mid air only to collapse them heavily on her cranium. Her wrapper, thrown away leaving her lower region exposed to all eyes, but thank God she had a cycling short on that provided a cover for her private. But who cares to look at the color of her lingerie? Everyone was just looking for Azanat. Our GRA settlement became unsettled as everyone joined in the search.

“She is a girl of four years old, wearing a flowery knee-length dress with her hair parted into two with red ribbons holding each bond”, we gave the description as sufficiently as we could.

My father called the Toll-Free line of the State Emergency Service. The old man would almost put those guys on the alert even if he’s climbing his wife, in case he gets exhausted and needs help. We would always make jest of his strong faith in that alarming and heartbreaking system. They asked him to go to the nearest Police Station to lodge such complaints as it has to be done in person; it is a case of a Missing Person. Hurriedly we all ran down the street to the Police Station.

“How long have you been looking for the girl?, the officer at the counter asked.

“About five hours now”, my old man answered.

“Well, I understand your plight but I am sorry we can only book this case after twenty-four hours as that is the law”, the policewoman on duty said, with her body language devoid of any empathy.

“Is there any way you could just help us by putting your men on the alert, in case…?”, said one of the men that had joined us in the search.

“No!”, she sounded flatly unconnected and pulled out a file from under the desk she was sitting on to continue with what she was working on without looking up at the faces of the people before her. We walked away from the station dejected. We had to prevail on Aunty Isabella as the action from the police made her madder. Her bawling became louder.

On our way home we continued our sleuthing; searching every nook and cranny. One search team to this side. Another to that side. The disappointment became graver when our search coalesced to nothing on our arrival at home. Aunty Isabella wouldn’t stop rolling on the ground -swinish; a mother’s rage. The world became still for her. All she wanted was Azanat.

A call was put through to Azanat’s father. The call couldn’t go through because he was offshore. He works in oil-service firm. He is the Senior Manager, Production & Distribution with many other responsibilities on his lap. Many times he forgets himself; only sipping wine to keep himself abreast of himself.

The search would continue the next day but Aunty Isabella’s wailing wouldn’t let us leave for bed. Even if we had gone to rest, the melancholy of a grieving woman would pervade our dreams. So we must stay awake to find Azanat. Who knows when the bridegroom would come? At that point, Aunty Isabella became numb to whatever was going on around her. Antidotally:Azana is the only revitalization.

We went back to the police station, first thing in the morning, though few hours before the complete cycle of a day. “The police should be the best apparatus to beam such a search”, one of us said, but we were dispassionately told to just wait for the moon to complete its cycle and we came back home searching the more. Each neighbor imbibed the emotions but much as we tried, no one can personalize the virulence of the agony, “she could be anyone’s”.

Just at the dawn of weariness we heard a toddler crying by the gate. We rushed to the scene to kill our curiosity. Lo and behold! It was Azanat all by herself, a pack of biscuit in hand.

Her mother sprang in joy, lifted her and carried her inside, “she must be hungry”.

Queer observation: her blouse was drenched in blood.

Her innocence has been taken away.



A President was killed.

Just at the blossom of his life.

Slaughtered to the murdering pleasure; wicked ego

His blood splattered the earth

In his homeland

His wife taken away

To a distant land of despair

Far away into the jungle

Of gnomes and aliens

Her innocence,


His doctor and lawyer friends

All died with their dreams.

An Alchemist of note





This land was deprived of the best

Not by pilferers

The maddening hedonistic

Pen did it.



The bludgeon

Will bludgeon

The bludgeoners.

Taken from What Suzzie Wants (yet to be published) by ‘Debayo Coker.


PMB Should Address Nigerians On Insurgency – BBOG

Expressing concerns over the resurgence of suicide bombings in the North-East, the #BringBackOurGirls(BBOG) group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on the Boko Haram insurgency.

Speaking during the group’s sit-out, Aisha Yesufu, noted that Nigerians, especially those affected by the bombings, would want to know government’s efforts towards ending the nightmare that had been terrorizing the nation over the years.

According to her, the president’s’ silence on the issue was unacceptable, adding that addressing the nation would not only soothe the pain of the victims of the insurgency and Nigerians, but would give them hope of a better tomorrow.

“Times for excuses are over. Several people have lost their lives. President Buhari was also attacked in Kaduna last year where he almost lost his life; so he knows what it is. We are all scared! We want the president to address us on the issue. We are humans, and not chickens. Where is the change we voted for? We are tired of the killings, we are tired of dying. People go to churches and mosques to worship and are killed for no just cause. We can no longer pray and worship the way we want, because we are scared. The president should come forward to address the citizens.

“Death, we know is inevitable. When we lost someone and people come to sympathise with us, it doesn’t mean that the dead will come back to life, but it gives us some comfort. That empathy is what we need from our president,” she said.

Also speaking, another member, Abubakar Yusuf, said even though Nigerians were not expecting a total turnaround of events, they would appreciate a nationwide broadcast by the president on the state of the nation.

“The silence is worrisome. We don’t expect a turnaround of the event in just over 30 days, but we expect a caring approach to the challenges facing the nation. The people have the right to know what is going,” he said.

On the contrary, another member, Deji Kolawole believes the president has done a lot on the issue of insurgency, urging Nigerians to be patient with him and expect the best for the future.

“We have done something different and we are expecting different results. The president has done a lot on the issue of insecurity. We are not getting results yet, but I am sure we will at the end of the day. The vice president has been visiting IDPs, showing them love and care,” he said.

Lagos To Abuja Trekker Leads Chibok Girls Solidarity Walk Today

In continuation of the campaign for the rescue of the Chibok girls, 33 year old Hasheem Suleiman, will today lead a walk from the Berger Junction to Unity Fountain, Abuja to press home the need to rescue the school girls from Chibok, abducted over one year ago.

Speaking at the Unity Fountain, venue for the sit-out of the #BringBackOurGirls yesterday, Maryam Ekunaiye who invited the BBOG to the walk-out stated that Suleiman will be embarking on the trek as a solidarity campaign for the demand for the rescue of the Chibok girls.bbog-52

Recall that Suleiman, had trekked from Lagos to Abuja to celebrate the victory of the President-elect Muhammadu Buhari and arrived the 20th of April, to a rousing crowd of Abuja residents who trooped out to catch a glimpse of him.

Suleiman had vowed to embark on a solo trek from Lagos to Abuja if All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the winner of the March 28th general election.

Suleiman’s arrival in Abuja caused traffic jams along the Kubwa expressway where thousands of fans gathered to see him and tomorrow’s walk is set to witness the same traffic with a large number of persons indicating interest to trek with him.

Meanwhile, the BBOG group has commended the military for its recent feet in rescuing some girls, women and children in the fight against the Boko Haram sect at the Sambisa Forest, urging them to continue the fight until the abducted Chibok girls are rescued.

“ We are commending the military for the rescue of the girls, women and children. We are hoping that they will continue in this feet. We hope that soon, we will hear the good news that the Chibok girls are rescued too,” a member of the group, Dr Emman Shehu.

Shehu however, questioned the authenticity of the videos released by the military, showing its fight in Sambisa; and urged the military to bring out credible videos.

that would show the bombardment of the enemies and not the ones showing unattacked enemies running to safety.


‘Show Us Evidence Of The 293 Girls Rescued’ – Borno Elders To Nigerian Military

As the Nigerian military says it rescued 293 girls and women from Sambisa forest, the elders in Borno say they need evidence and pictures of the rescued captives. Speaking to Reuters, Borno Elders Forum said via it’s spokesman Bulama Mali Gubio

“If the soldiers have indeed rescued 200 girls and 93 women then they should show them. When [Abubakar] Shekau kidnapped the Chibok girls he released video footage for everyone to see — this is the age of modern technology. Whether these are the same girls or not, people will be skeptical until they see their pictures on the news.”

Ezekwesili At 52: Oby Is A Blessing To Chibok Girls Campaign – BBOG Group

The #BringBackOurGirls group has described one of its leaders,Dr Oby Ezekwesili, as a blessing to Chibok girls campaign as she celebrated her 52nd birthday yesterday.

Aisha Yesufu said knowing Dr Ezekwesili has changed her life and belief in human being as her doggedness and determination, have contributed to the successes of the BBOG campaign.

According to her, “ Aunty Oby made me believe in a New Nigeria. I had given up hope on my country, Nigeria. She gave me hope for a better Nigeria. I was almost giving up hope. Things weren’t going well and nothing was being done to correct it but when I encountered aunty Oby and this group, I had great hope for the future.”

In the opinion of another member of the group, Maureen Kabric, “Dr Oby Ezekwesili has done a great deal for the movement and for humanity as a whole, even as she has brought a lot of hope for the Chibok parents and many victims of the insurgency in the Northeast.

“No matter how they call her names. No matter what they write against her, she has always remained resolute. She has been revered outside the country. She has done incredibly for this movement, for Nigeria and for humanity.

“I remember when we were banned from having our sit-out by Mbu and how she stood her ground. She has done a great deal for us in this movement. She has been a rock for all of us and we wish her well as she celebrates her birthday.”

For, Jibo Ibrahim, a member of the group, in an article on Oby, read at the sit-out, said “one evening in June 1993, a certain Oby Ezekwesili walked into my house in the Samaru campus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where I was teaching. She demanded what we were doing to restore the stolen mandate of M.K.O. Abiola. I asked her who she was and the basis of this direct approach. ‘I got your contact from Shehu Yahaya, a mutual friend in the Lagos branch of Concerned Professionals,’ she said. What’s a bloody banker doing organising street protests all over the country I asked her? The moment the police tear-gassed and beat us up in Lagos Island for exercising our democratic right to protest, I realised that without citizen action the military will turn our country into a Banana Republic, we shall not allow that she insisted. Okay Oby, sits down, let’s share notes, strategise and create traction in the struggle for democracy.

“22 years later, thinking she had been softened by ministerial appointments and World Bank vice presidency.

In Defence Of Hadiza Bala Usman By Bashir Ibrahim Dabo

The publication of the names of members of the APC Inauguration Committee last week did not go without getting its own fair share of mischief and controversy. Hadiza Bala Usman, featured among the committee’s members. She is known by many as a result of the pioneering role she has been playing in the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy. It was a campaign that came into light after the unfortunate abduction of almost 300 school girls from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, in Borno State, April last year. Many, who know her only as an activist, have gone wild on social media and other media platforms accusing her of profiting from the misery of the abducted Chibok Girls. However, there is another side of her.
I cannot claim knowledge of the date Hadiza joined partisan politics. But I have a fair knowledge of her political antecedents. I am up to date about when she contested her first political office in her native Katsina State in 2011. In defiance to the norms in Northern Nigeria regarding women’s participation in partisan politics, she contested the primary election for House of Representative seat together with another brilliant and active lady in the sphere of Nigerian public commentary, Hannatu Musa Musawa under the platform of the (defunct) Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), from Matazu/Musawa Federal Constituency.
Subsequently, she won the nomination. Her victory made her the only female aspirant that emerged as the flag bearer of House of Representative seat under the CPC in Katsina State. But, unfortunately she gallantly lost the battle to a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu. As it would turn out to be the only House of Representative seat the CPC would lose in the state during the 2011 general election. Since then, she has remained active in the opposition till date.
In November 2014, Hadiza was the chief agent of Mallam Nasir Ahmad Elrufai in the Kaduna State APC Gubernatorial primary election that took place at Trade Fair Complex, Kaduna. In carrying out the assignment, she personified everything in the saying ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’. She displayed courage, condor and finesse to the admiration of many of us that graced the place.
It was such display of enviable qualities that endeared her to be nominated into both Kaduna state APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council and APC Presidential Campaign Council concurrently. As a member of these campaign councils, Hadiza was opportune to have toured almost every part of the country campaigning for the APC. In this alone, she has raised the par and set a new standard for women partisan politics in Northern Nigeria. Not even the revered Hajiya Gambo Sawaba of blessed memory had reached this height in our national politics.
Hadiza is not only a member of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, but also a member of Kaduna State APC Transition Committee simultaneously. This further proves her competence, capacity and multi-tasking quality. In essence, she actually had a political life before 2014; and that political life preceded the #BringBackOurGirls Campaign. I think it would be the height of injustice and unfairness to accuse a woman that has worked this hard towards the victory of her party of using the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to gain such national prominence. Ours should be a wicked country.
You can reach me on twitter @Bashir_Dabo

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

We Would Bring Back The Chibok Girls Before May 29 Handover Date – Presidency #BringBackOurGirls

The Nigerian presidency has assured that the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in Borno state 365 days ago will be rescued before the May 29 handover date. Speaking on the anniversary of the abduction of the girls, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki gave the assurance today that the Federal Government was making every effort to ensure that the girls along with every other Nigerian abducted by Boko Haram terrorists are rescued.
Dasuki also promised that Sambisa Forest, the fortress of Boko Haram terrorists and one of their last remaining camps will be stormed and liberated before the May 29, 2015 presidential hand-over date. “Right now, all Boko Haram camps except Sambisa Forest has been destroyed,” the NSA said.
According to him, the forest would have since been liberated but for the unfavourable weather condition prevailing in the area as every needed reconnaissance activity and necessary deployment of troops have since been concluded for the exercise.

The Thoughts Of A Kidnapped #ChibokGirl One Year After By Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

She woke up in the middle of the night; the thoughts of home filled her disturbed heart. She cried for freedom from the innermost part of her being, but the fear of her abductors silenced her. How long more are we going to continue in this bondage, she thought. The warmth of her mother’s embrace she as missed, the instructions and corrections of her father constantly flashed through her mind. The noise of her siblings playing in the courtyard at the cool of the evening never ceases from her memories. She has really missed home. Nights upon nights in the middle of nowhere, the only thing we hear are deep silence in the night and wicked voices of our abductors in the morning.
How can they abandon us to suffer like this for so long, is anyone coming to rescue us? How much longer do we have to wait? We have lost touch with our physical environment. The thought of trying to escape is not even an option for us. What if our kidnappers; gruesome and wicked human beings; catches us in the process of escaping? We might be killed in the process. Now, a whole year has gone, and still the hope of going home becomes slimmer and slimmer every day.
How did we even get here in the first place? They told us education is good. They said it is the safest way out of poverty. They even say education we liberate us from the bondage of the mind. And so, we decided to give it a try. But see where our pursuit of knowledge has landed us. We were abducted while trying to be free. Our own pursuit of knowledge has not freed us, but rather put us in physical bondage. Perhaps, if we were not seeking to be educated, and had stayed in the comfort of our parents homes, maybe we would not have been abducted. Our kidnappers constantly say to us that Western education is forbidden. They say the West corrupt our minds through westernization. Now here we find ourselves in this bondage. Maybe our abductors are right anyway. *deep sigh*
We heard there is a new President-Elect. Our abductors never cease to talk about him. Is there any hope that we would be rescued soon? Will the incoming administration fail us like the outgoing administration? There are times I think of that primary role of government of securing lives and properties of the citizenry. I still remember very well how my government teacher used to stress this particular role of government to us in class. But this was not the case when I and my other friends were abducted a year ago. We were left all alone in the middle of the night with little or no security protection. We all were innocent girls, defenceless. And the assailants came and took us all away. Oh, what a shame on this government.
When will this torture end? Our abductors constantly take advantage of us. Some of us don’t even know what time of the day it is anymore. We can barely remember our birthdays. In the coming days, we can only hope the new administration will come to our rescue. While it may seem that the whole country has moved on, and forgotten about us, the remaining 219 of us in this lion’s den have not, our parents have not either. We cannot sincerely wait any longer, we want to go home. These are the thoughts of our heart.

Obayomi Abiola Benjamin


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent the views of nor its associates

At Least 2,000 Women And Girls Kidnapped By Boko Haram – Amnesty International

Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 2,000 women and girls since the beginning of last year, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, a year on from the mass abduction of 219 Nigerian schoolgirls.

A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram released a new video on claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing.

The kidnapping of the teenagers from Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno, on April 14 last year brought unprecedented world attention to the brutality of the insurgency.

But the human rights group said it had documented 38 cases of abduction by the Islamists, based on testimony of dozens of eyewitnesses as well as women and girls who eventually escaped.

“It is difficult to estimate how many people have been abducted by Boko Haram,” Amnesty said in the report, “‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko Haram’s reign of terror”.

“The number of women and girls is likely to be higher than 2,000.”

On the Chibok girls, Amnesty quoted a senior military source as saying they had been split into three or four groups and held at different Boko Haram camps.

Somewhere in its Sambisa Forest stronghold in Borno state, others around Lake Chad, in the Gorsi mountains in Cameroon while about 70 girls were thought to be in Chad.

Nigeria’s military has previously said it knows where the girls are but ruled out a rescue operation as too dangerous.

The 219 teenagers have not been seen since Boko Haram released a video message in May last year, showing about 100 of the girls in Muslim dress and reciting verses of the Koran.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said all of the teenagers had converted to Islam and been “married off”.

Amnesty reports provides fresh testimony to Boko Haram’s use of mass kidnapping, cataloguing the frequent abduction of young women and girls, as well as the forced conscription of men and boys.

Women and girls interviewed recounted being held in atrocious conditions, including in overcrowded prisons, being forced to cook and clean for as well as marry Islamist fighters.

One human rights activist who interviewed more than 80 abducted women and girls after their escape said in 23 cases, they had been raped either before arrival at camps or after forced marriage.

One 19-year-old woman who was abducted in September 2014 said: “I was raped several times when I was in the camp. Sometimes five of them. Sometimes three, sometimes six.

“It went on for all the time I was there. It always happened in the night… Some were even my classmates from my village. Those who knew me were even more brutal to me.”

One woman said Boko Haram fighters came to her house in the border town of Gamboru to rape her lodger, a woman in her late 20s, and that fear of HIV was widespread.

Elsewhere others spoke of being forced to train to shoot guns and make bombs, while one said she was sent on operations, including to her own village.

Amnesty, which wants Boko Haram investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity, estimates that more than 4,000 people were killed in 2014.

At least 1,500 civilians lost their lives in the first three months of this year, it added.

– Source –

I Can’t Promise My Government Will Find Missing Chibok Girls – Buhari

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration will do everything within its powers to rescue the missing Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted from their dormitory on an eerie night a year ago.

He added that even though he can’t promise their rescue, his administration will bring Boko Haram to its knees.

The full statement from Buhari is reproduced below.

Today is a time to reflect on the pain and suffering of the victims, their friends and families. Our thoughts and prayers, and that of the whole Nigerian Nation, are with you today. I want to assure all of them, and particularly the parents, that when my new Administration takes office at the end of May, we will do everything we can to defeat Boko Haram. We will act differently from the Government we replace: we hear the anguish of our citizens and intend to respond accordingly.

This new approach must also begin with honesty. We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them. But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my Government will do everything in its power to bring them home. What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that starting on the first day of my Administration Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas. Boko Haram” means “Western Education is Sinful”. When they are defeated militarily, as they will be, we will ensure our citizens in the affected areas have improved educational opportunities as a direct counterbalance to Boko Haram’s twisted ideology.

In particular we will educate ever more young girls ensuring they are empowered as citizens of Nigeria. Let us use this anniversary to remind each other that the attack on Chibok was an attack on the dreams and aspirations of our young people. We stand united in our pledge to resist terror in Nigeria– not just through military means but also through the power of opportunity and the hope of a better future for all”.

#BringBackOurGirls: Chibok- A Wound Through Which Nigeria Will Bleed Forever! By Soyombo Ayomikun

1. They cried

Shedding bitter tears
For days unending
For hours rolling into
Hoping for that miracle-

2. Thousands the world over
Several marched
Through streets
The world over
While Chibok bled
From the stab
Of hate

3. Now muffled
Are their voices
By terror
After screaming
For a year,
Their souls
Battered beyond

4. How can we
Fail to remember
The seeds of
From Chibok,
The hearts bleeding
For Nigeria?

5. How can we
Cease to shed
And wail
For Chibok?
Even if
It takes

6. We want forests
We want hideouts
We want our treasures
We want terror

7. We wish
To wake up
From this acerbic dream
And told
It never happened
That Chibok
Was never
If only…

8. We wish
To be told
The tears
Were never
That the
Didn’t fail us…
That t’was
All a dream!
If only…

9. We wish
To be told
That no parent
Of anguish
While awaiting
The return
Of a child,
That our
Never bled
In chains,
That t’was all
A dream!
If only…

10. We wish
We can safely
Tell our children
That the bombs
Are gone
With the sour
That they can now
Return to their
Without the fear
Of death!
If only…

11. Our missing
Are not just
And bones
And blood…
They are jewels
We have sorely
12. Through Chibok
Nigeria will bleed
Chibok will remain
A wound
That will be fresh
Though the damage
Has been done
We still want
Our daughters
No matter
Who they’ve
Our outstretched arms
Are waiting
To embrace them,
To wipe
The tears,
To nurse the wound-
Please #BringBackOurGirls

Soyombo Ayomikun tweets from @alabaster85

In Memory Of The #ChibokGirls: Who Will #BringBackOurGirls? By Ogundana Michael Rotimi

Like a thief cometh in the night to steal and to kill, the deadly terrorist group, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in English means, “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”, otherwise known as Boko Haram, on the night of 14–15 April 2014, stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok Community, Borno State, Nigeria. Broke into the school, pretended to be guards, told the girls to get out and come with them. A large number of students, numbering about two hundred and seventy-nine (279) girls were taken away with them in trucks. Possibly into the Konduga area of the Sambisa Forest where they were known to have fortified camps. Fifty-seven (57) of the girls managed to escape on their own on transits, left with about 219 in the hands of Boko Haram their abductor. Houses in Chibok community were also burnt down in the incident. The school had been closed for four weeks prior to the attack due to the deteriorating security situation in the region, but students from multiple schools had been called on to take their physics final exams. These girls were aged 13 to 18 and were in their final year of school.
Tuesday, 14th April 2015, makes it exactly a year since the abduction of these girls. Their singular offence was that they wanted to be educated and pursue their dreams.
One of the saddening part of the incident was; the president did not believe that the girls were abducted for almost 18 days after their abduction was made. Since the president got the information within 24 hours of the act, if he had reacted almost immediately, those girls would have been rescued before they got to their destination. Rather for the president to spring into actions after receiving briefings about the abduction, he doubted it. He had rather preferred to go dancing in Kano in the name of a rally. That was the most unfortunate aspect of the whole scenario. After that, it took President Jonathan about 20 days before he publicly acknowledged that the abduction actually took place. That was after both local and international individuals and groups, especially the #BringBackOurGirls group here in Nigeria mounted pressure on him ahead of the World Economic Forum for Africa.
The president first spoke about the abduction in a media chat held 4th May, 2015, where he blamed the parents of the school girls for not giving information about the victims and the incident.
On 17 October 2014, hopes were raised that the over 200 girls left in the hands of Boko Haram their abductor might soon be released after the Nigerian army announced a truce between Boko Haram and government forces. The announcement coincided with the six-month anniversary of the girls’ abduction and followed a month of negotiations mediated in Saudi Arabia by Chadian president, Idriss Déby.
The announcement was met with doubts, as that was not the first time the Nigerian government had claimed a breakthrough in negotiations with the Islamic militant group – it had to backtrack on a previous announcement in September after saying the girls had been released and were being held in military barracks. This was later found out to be false.
It must be on record, that if not for the relentless efforts of groups like the #BringBackOurGirls group, that kept demanding for the rescue of these girls, the government would not have said anything about their abduction, nothing would have been done about rescuing them and they would have been totally forgotten. Fortunately, this group has been consistent; they have been humane and have shown affection to the #ChibokGirls, their family and their friends. This group keeps the memory of these girls alive and continues to hold the government responsible for failing to rescue them.
For a year now, we have demanded, we have begged, we have petitioned, we have remonstrated, we have pleaded; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored the Presidency to bring down Boko Haram under its feet and #BringBackOurGirls. Rather, our petitions have been slighted, our remonstrances have produced humiliation and insult, our supplications have been ignored, and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. We have since indulged in the fond of hope and faith, while we keep demanding for the rescue of our girls. One thing is clear; we have pledged ourselves never to abandon this glorious course until our demand is meant. We shall keep demanding, for the rescue of our girls until they are finally brought back home.
These girls need to regain their freedom, they need to come back home, they deserve to live their normal lives and they have the right to pursue their dreams. The government must not allow the lives of these girls to be wasted, something has to be done and has to be done fast.
We have hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan would do all within his reach to rescue our girls, but as I write this piece nothing tangible has been done and the Chibok girls are yet to be back home. And it`s so painful, that even as his tenure is coming to end, the Chibok girls still remain missing worst of it is that we do not have any situation report about their whereabouts and safety. However as Nigeria swears in a new President come 29th May, 2015, who will #BringBackOurGirls? President Jonathan or General Buhari?

God Bless Nigeria
Ogundana Michael Rotimi
I tweet @MickeySunny

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent the views of nor its associates

Watch Aye Dee Compare Missing Chibok Girls To His Father’s Missing Goat #ChibokGirls #BringbackourGirls

PDP loyalist and constant Goodluck Jonathan Campaigner Mr Aye dee sat with an Agent of change Mr Kayode Ogundamisi in a political chat, on Nigeria before The March 2015 Elections with the Bring Back Our Girls campaign for the missing Chibok Girls a major talking point on Politricks show. What is shocking about this interview is the fact that Mr. Aye dee could compare the lives of 219 missing Girls to His Father’s Goat that went missing as a child. An issue with a magnitude so large should be treated with respect and concern for the lives of those under age girls in the hands of Terrorist as mean as Shekau and his cohorts. This is either a case of he has lost it or he simply didn’t think we all were going to sit down and see this interview someday .

Watch Mr Aye Dee show his Blind loyalty here …. His Speech Comes in at 6.40 On this video clip

BBOG Campaigners Warn FG To Be Wary Of Boko Haram/ISIS Alliance

The BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, campaign group has warned the federal government against treating Boko Haram’s purported allegiance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria with levity. The advocacy group consequently called on the federal government to probe whatever may be the implications of the alliance and to work hard to frustrate such a deadly collaboration. Making its position known in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the campaigners went on to demand full disclosure on the previous and current rescue operations of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents since April 14, 2014. They lamented in the statement signed by their Co-coordinators, Oby Ezekwesili and Hadiza Bala-Usman, that none of the girls had been rescued notwithstanding successes recorded against Boko Haram by security forces in the North-East. According to the statement, “The alliance of Boko Haram and ISIS, which has been a trending issue, was seemingly downplayed by the Nigerian authorities. While this position could be interpreted as a strategy to avert creating panic in the minds of the citizens, we hope that there are concerted efforts behind the scenes to scrutinize the possible implications. “The pronouncement by ISIS that fighters should join Boko Haram must not be dismissed as a mere publicity stunt. Libya, which already has a significant ISIS presence, shares borders with our immediate neighbour Niger.” Noting that since the counter-insurgency operation was two-thirds gone based on the established time scale, BBOG stressed that the military needed to provide a detailed account of how much ground had been covered and the objectives which have been achieved.

BBOG Group Calls For Adequate Security In Recaptured Villages

The #BringBackOurGirls movement has called on the federal government and the security agencies to ensure the continued of peace in the recovered territories by putting in place adequate security measures to tackle the Boko Haram insurgents in case they want to attack again.

In a statement read by the group’s spokesperson, Olatunji Olanrewaju at the 2nd media briefing of the six weeks countdown on the fight against insurgency yesterday, the movement declared total support for the military in the resurgent fight against Boko Haram.

However, the movement noted that it would be an effort in futility if at the end of the fight against Boko Haram, there is no security in place to protect the recovered territories.

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan and the service chiefs for visiting the recovered territories, the statement by the group further noted expressed regret that after the request by the group last week, the military was yet to take media men on a tour of the recovered territories so as to properly access the situation of things and dispel any doubt by a disbelieving public.

Also, while raising the alarm on the dynamism of the insurgents in recent week, the statement cautioned the movement against eschewing any form of triumph at this time as such mindset would distract the gallant Nigerian soldiers from total victory against the sect.

The movement also called on the government to ensure that in the remaining days to the expiration of the six-week countdown, the issues of the remaining 219 Chibok girls should be put in the front burner, as the BBOG and their family members are seriously looking forward to their return.

The movement had cautioned the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to be wary of going back to their communities until there are verifiable evidence that their communities were safe for them to return to, with adequate security to protect them against further attacks.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the group had started a six-week countdown on February 14, to end terrorism and the possible rescue of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 after the insurgents attacked them at Government Secondary School,

Jonathan Is Not Fit For Leadership – Dr Oby Ezekwesili

Nigeria’s former Minister of Education and one of the leaders of the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign group, Dr Oby Ezekwesili says the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls, who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in April last year has shown how unfit he is as a leader.

Ezekwesili, who spoke yesterday, observed that President Jonathan’s slow response to freeing the girls from the grip of the Boko Haram sect depicts incompetence in the country’s affairs.

Drawing a line between the French government’s quick response to terrorists attack on the country three days ago with Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram, the former Minister stressed that the latter has not demonstrated the requisite will-power to rescue its territory from invaders.

She expressed concerns over the increasing spate of female suicide bombers in Nigeria, stressing that the development points to the failed security index of the nation.

The rights advocate however pledged to continue to advocate for the freedom of the girls in the face of blackmail, intimidation and threat to her group from the federal government.

Source – Daily Post Ng

10 Things You Need To Know This Morning #NewsBits

Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know this morning:

1. Considering that the war against Boko Haram has no ‘end’ in sight, the Federal Government on Monday and for the third time resolved that the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states be extended. The decision on the extension was taken at a meeting of the National Defence Council held on Monday.

2. Report says some PDP Governors have threatened to work against the party in the 2015 governorship election as they are reportedly angry with the party Chairman Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, for allegedly manipulating the result of the ward congresses in their respective states. Some of the angry governors, according to report are Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and that of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke.

3. A political drama ensued yesterday in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti state as the Peoples Democratic Party members in the state House of Assembly appointed Dele Olugbemi as Protem Speaker in the absence of the Speaker of the House. The PDP that had seven lawmakers in the 26-member assembly were reportedly joined by three unnamed persons. Report says all APC members of the House were stopped by security men from getting into the Assembly complex.

4. Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Convener of Save Nigeria Group and the General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly,has said that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo killed students’ unionism in the country. While speaking at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Monday, Bakare said Obasanjo, as the then Head of State in 1978, used extreme force to frustrate Nigerian students during the ‘Ali Must Go’ protest.

5. The Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Gbenga Ashafa, has said that the All Progressives Congress, APC will not be divided over the entrance of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal into the race for presidential ticket. He made this statement at an empowerment programme in Lagos.

6. The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress , Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had on Mondaytermed the celebration of the Nigerian military over the recapture of Chibok from Boko Haram as a disgrace. Oyegun said it was a big disgrace that the rag tag militant captured Chibok from the hands of the military in the first place.

7. The #BringBackOurGirls campaigners were yesterday ignored by the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Minister of State for Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, in their protest to the Ministry of Education over the killings of schoolchildren by Boko Haram in the North-East. The protesters who were at the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja from 4.10pm to 5.45pm were not attended to by the Ministers.

8. Femi Fani Kayode’s legal battle against the EFCC is almost over as out of the amended 40 count-charge, bordering on an alleged offence by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC charged against Fani-Kayode, trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, discharged and acquitted the accused of 38 counts, while ruling on a no-case submission filed by the defence ( FFK) on behalf of the accused.

9. Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Monday, said poor leadership was responsible for current national debacle. Soyinka advised that the country should rise above its present standard and equally raise a monument for the missing Chibok girls.

10. At least four persons were reportedly killed yesterday in Owerri, Imo State and Abonema in Rivers State, in different bloody attacks. In the attacks, several others sustained bullet wounds. Report says two of the deceased were killed at Ama Hausa, Owerri, Imo State capital, following a misunderstanding between a Hausa trader and an indigene of Owerri. The other two, according to report were killed when two rival cult groups clashed at Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Source – Daily Post NG

If Despite Negotiations Girls Do Not Return, Jonathan Will Be No Worse Off – Comment

Nigeria’s disputed claim to have brokered a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram and release deal for more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls was aimed at improving the country’s tarnished reputation abroad and little to do with domestic politics, analysts say.Boko-haram-negotiation-cart

The surprise announcement on Friday created a sliver of hope that the brutal five-year Islamist uprising could be nearing an end and that the girls seized from the northeast town of Chibok of April 14 might rejoin their families.

There are already strong signs that the deal will prove hollow: violence raged through the weekend and the credentials of the so-called Boko Haram negotiator have been widely questioned.

But even before cracks emerged in the purported ceasefire, many saw a clear political motive in the timing of the announcement.

A common theory ran that President Goodluck Jonathan would use the development to proclaim himself a tireless pursuer of peace, then swiftly declare his re-election plans for polls next February.

– See more at:

Articles on are solely authors opinion

FG Representatives Head To Chad For Chibok Girls Negotiation

Information reaching DailyPost suggests that the federal government negotiating team may have headed for the Chadian capital, N’djamena in continuation of its negotiation with representatives of Boko Haram insurgents, a Thisday report said.

According to the report, the team’s priority is the release of the abducted Chibok school girls and cessation of hostilities.

DailyPost recalls that Nigerian authorities last Friday announced that it had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the sect; an agreement it said will facilitate the release of the over 200 school girls abducted from their hostels in Chibok since April this year.


Don’t Lose Hope, We Will Bring Back Our Girls – Patience Jonathan

The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, yesterday urged Nigerians to remain prayerful as efforts to rescue the Chibok girls are yeilding positive results.

Mama Peace, as she’ s fondly called noted thay the Federal Government was working to ensure their safe release of the girls who have been held hostage over 181 days.

Mrs. Jonathan gave this message of hope in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, where she opened the State secretariat of Women for Change and Development Initiative and distributed empowerment materials to women from 33 council areas and 17 Non-Governmental Organisations.

She called for prayers for the abducted girls and urged parents to focus on child training and good moral, saying that security should not be left to the government alone.

“One way we have tried to impart on the lives of women is by championing the representation of women, especially the 35 per cent affirmation action in respect of women representation in governance.

“It will interest you to know that the Women for Change and Development Initiative has collaborated with many organisations and spirited individuals in the discharge of its role in line with the transformation agenda of the current administration.