US-based human rights lawyer sues FG over Chibok girls

A United States-based human rights activist and lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, has dragged the Federal Government to court over 10 Chibok girls schooling in the US.

Ogebe, through his lawyer, Barrister David Ogebe, is asking for $5 million for defamation.

The defendants in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Alhassan; and her ministry.

In the suit, the plaintiff accused Hajia Alhassan of telling the whole world at a news conference that the 10 Chibok girls his organisation took to the US for studies are not in school.

Ogebe, in the suit, said around June 2014, he and some humanitarians who are indigenes of Borno State conceived the “study abroad project” specifically to assist the abducted/escaped Chibok schoolgirls after observing during a United States of America congressional fact-finding trip at the time that nothing was being done for them individually and as a group.

According to him, to actualize the project, the Education Must Continue Initiative was duly birthed as a non-governmental organization under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 LFN 2004 to serve as the charity to provide quality education for the escaped Chibok schoolgirls and other victims of the insurgency.

Ogebe said through the EMCI and his personal efforts, 10 of the escaped Chibok schoolgirls were granted admission with full scholarships in the United States of America and were subsequently taken to the US where they were enrolled in and began school within a week of their arrival with the plaintiff duly authorized as their guardian by their respective families.

But, according to the plaintiff, despite his effort to get the 10 Chibok girls to study abroad, the women affairs minister came out to say that the girls are not schooling in the US.

He is asking the court for the sum of $5 million as exemplary and aggravated damages.

The US based lawyer is also asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves or through their privies from further defaming his character whether by print, electronic or online media.

Ogebe is also asking the court to write a letter of apology to him and publish same on all social media news platforms, in two national newspapers in Nigeria and one newspaper circulating in the United States of America.

In the affidavit in support of the suit, Ogebe said through his lawyer: The Plaintiff and the escaped Chibok Schoolgirls visited the United States Congress upon arrival of the Chibok girls to the US whereupon the girls were welcomed to the United States of America. On one of such occasions three of the schoolgirls along with the Plaintiff met with Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson on 09 September 2014. The Plaintiff hereby pleads and shall rely on a copy of the official photograph issued by the United States Congress to mark the visit where he is duly recognized as the project leader.

“For dubious reasons, the Defendants spearheaded by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants began a malicious campaign to tarnish the image of the Claimant culminating in a press conference convened by the 3rd Defendant, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan on September 9th, 2016 and aired to the whole world through print, electronic and online media where the Defendants alleged that Claimant took the Chibok girls to US under the guise of taking them to school but did not in fact do so thus warranting the government’s intervention.

The Plaintiff hereby pleads and shall rely on three online media reports of the news conference of the 2nd and 3rd Defendants covered by (a) The Cable News online report of 09 September 2016; (b) Premium Times online News Story as published on website also of 09 September 2016; and (c) Anadolu Agency online publication of 09 September 2016 as published on the news website.”

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

Camp Zairo in Sambisa Forest is like Boko Haram’s Aso Rock – Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says Camp Zairo is to Boko Haram what Aso Rock means to Nigeria.


Mohammed said this at the Air Force Base in Yola, Adamawa state capital, during a briefing to conclude a day and night rounds of search of the missing girls in Sambisa.


Mansur Dan-Alli, minister of defence; Obiageli Ezekwesili, convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group; as well as selected local and foreign journalists participated in the search mission.


Mohammed noted that the capture of the camp was very crucial to defeating members of the sect.


“Camp Zairo might occupy probably one kilometre out of 60,000 kilometres expanse of Sambisa, but it is so crucial to us in this war,” he said.


“It is like imagining that there is a war and the Villa is captured. That is the essence of camp zairo.


“It is not the extent of physical expanse but that we struck at the very heart of insurgency and it does not mean the end of the campaign in Sambisa forest.”


Mohammed said the success recorded by the military in the theatre of war was helping to negotiate release of the remaining Chibok girls in captivity.


He recalled that a recently-held meeting nearly led to success, adding that the government would not rest on its oars in ensuring the return of all the missing girls and others in captivity.


“The negotiations are still on, but unfortunately unlike the search operations, we cannot take you along to the negotiation table,” he said.


“I want to assure you that these negotiations are going on but they are very complicated and delicate and shift from time to time.”

Reps To Investigate 500m Naira Fund For Chibok Secondary School

The House of Representatives is to investigate why the Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state has not being reconstructed despite 500 million naira being earmarked for the project in the 2016 budget.


This resolution followed a motion sponsored by Rep Raphael Igbokwe who reminded the House that the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had flagged off the reconstruction project.


Lawmakers wondered if the funds have been diverted and called for a proper investigation to be done in the matter.


The House also resolved that all schools destroyed in the course of fighting insurgency should also be reconstructed.


Source: Channels TV

Boko Haram Not Defeated Until Chibok Girls, Others Are Rescued – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted his government will not proclaim victory over the extremist group, Boko Haram, until all the kidnapped Chibok school girls are rescued.

The president said this in a letter he wrote to Pakistani child rights activist, Malala Yousafzai, in which he offered explanations about the ongoing efforts to rescue the kidnapped girls.

A statement from the Ministry of Information said Mr. Buhari signed the letter on January 10, 2017, as a response to an earlier letter he received from Ms. Yousafzai.

In the letter, Mr. Buhari assured Ms. Yousafzai, who is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient, of the “doggedness, commitment and sincerity of the Nigeria’s Federal Government towards ensuring the safe return of the Chibok girls, and indeed all others still in captivity”.

But the statement, signed by Segun Adeyemi, an aide to the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, said Mr. Buhari declined to “divulge the details of ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the girls due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations”.

The president said “in line with his pledge that Boko Haram will not be considered defeated without the rescue of the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by the insurgents, the military, the State Security Service and the other security agencies are intensifying their efforts to ensure freedom for all those who remain in captivity,” the statement said.

The reassurance is a notable breakaway from Mr. Buhari’s frequent declarations that the insurgents have been finally defeated.

One of such comments came when he delivered his Independence Day speech on October 1, 2016.

“On Security, we have made progress. Boko Haram was defeated by last December – only resorting to cowardly attacks on soft targets, killing innocent men, women and children,” Mr. Buhari said on that day.

In his letter to Ms. Yousafzai, the president also touched on the welfare of the 21 Chibok girls who regained their freedom on October 12, 2016, saying the government had taken over the responsibility for their personal, educational and professional goals and ambitions in life.

”They are being given comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological care and support, and anyone who has seen them in recent times will attest to the fact that their reintegration back to the society is progressing well. The Federal Government believes that it is not too late for the girls to go back to school, and everything will be done to ensure that they continue the pursuit of their studies,” he said.

Mr. Buhari commended Ms. Malala for her continuing caring disposition towards the release of the girls who remain in captivity, and the welfare of the girls who have regained their freedom, adding: ”There is no better example of the fact that we are all linked by our common humanity”.

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.

Probe ‘missing’ N500 million Chibok school fund, SERAP tells EFCC

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has petitioned Ibrahim Magu, the Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, requesting him to “urgently begin a thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegation that N500 million Safe School funds for Chibok girls, commissioned by former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to rebuild the Government Girls School in Chibok, is missing and cannot be accounted for.”

The organisation urged the EFCC to “invite for questioning, and name and shame anyone suspected to be involved in the alleged diversion, including the contractors allegedly handling the project.”

In the petition dated December 27, 2016 and signed by SERAP senior staff attorney Timothy Adewale, the organisation said: “The allegation that N500m has been lost to corruption has resulted in denying the girls access to education, and shows the failure of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government to live up to Nigeria’s commitments under the global Safe School Declaration.”

The petition reads in part: “SERAP believes that the diversion of the funds will expose the school to attacks in the future. This is a fundamental breach of the country’s obligations including guarantees of non-repetition, which contribute to prevention and deterrence of future attacks.”

“SERAP urges the EFCC to work with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to set up a mechanism to monitor government’s spending of the safe school funds in order to ensure that the funds are spent exactly to prevent and deter future attacks, and to allow the girls to go back to school as soon as possible.”

“SERAP is seriously concerned that the school has remained in a state of disrepair since the abduction of the girls, and students have remained at home.”

“SERAP is concerned that the alleged diversion of N500 million meant for reconstruction of Government Girls School in Chibok has directly violated the right to education of the girls, as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

“The diversion has undermined the obligation of the government to take step to the maximum of its available resources to achieve the right to education. The alleged diversion also shows a serious breach of anticorruption legislation including the EFCC Act, and Nigeria’s international obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption both of which the country has ratified.”

“The EFCC should ensure full accountability and bring to justice anyone found to be responsible for corruption and diversion of safe school funds. The EFCC should also ensure that all proceeds of corruption are recovered and returned back to the treasury.”

“This request is based on allegation by Governor Kashim Shettima that N500 million set aside by the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is missing and cannot be accounted for. The funds were released for rebuilding of the Government Girls School in Chibok under the Safe School Initiative programme, which was commissioned former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.”

#BringBackOurGirls demands more accountability on Chibok scholgirls, soldiers

The #BringBackOurGirls group has called for proper accountability on the missing Chibok girls and those reunited with their families, as well as detailed reports on the deployed soldiers who have gone missing at the point of duty.

The call is coming on the heels of several reports of missing soldiers in the media after months of their initial disappearance and the recent news on the arrest of a female who impersonated as a soldier.

The group further called on the federal government to reinvigorate the rescue operations for the reunification of the Chibok girls with their families expressing that, it is about time the government goes all out to ensure the rescue of the girls.

Speaking while briefing the press, the chairperson, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, urged the government to not get comfortable but act to see that the year does not end with the girls still in the Boko Haram camp.

“We must not get comfortable, there must be fierce urgency, we need an update from the federal government,” she said.

The group further expressed that, it is not oblivious of the effort of the government thus far but acknowledge that it is not enough as the constant report of soldiers missing and the blindside of the public in knowing the update on the remaining girls is not acceptable, especially on the emotions of the families affected.

The leader of the #BBOG group said the group will continue to persist until the abducted girls are back and alive.

She added that every missing person should be accounted for, as it is not dignifying for citizens to be missing without identifying them, seeing that the office of the citizen remains the greatest office on the surface of the earth.

She noted that when the public are aware of the soldiers who are deployed it would help avoid issues of impersonation, it would comfort the families who know the whereabouts of their loved ones and avoid months of pending news on soldiers and the girls.

Chibok is Still Under Boko Haram Control, Military Lied – Chairman

The Caretaker Chairman of Chibok Local Government Area of Borno state, Mr. Yaga Yarkawa, has lamented the renewed attacks by Boko Haram terrorists in the local government, insisting that with the recent attacks on Thlaimaklama village which has displaced many people from their homes, Chibok has again come under the control of Boko Haram.

Yaga Yarkawa told newsmen on Monday night in Maiduguri while visiting to receive food items donated by the State Government for onward delivery to displaced persons.

He said, contrary to claims by the military that Chibok is safe, there have been series of renewed attacks on communities of Kuburmbula, Tsilari, Kamdzilari, Kuburnvwu , Kautikari, Kwada, Buftari and Kakulmari villages bordering Damboa and Sambia forest, adding that the latest one was the one that took place at the weekend in Thlaimaklama village where the insurgents carted away 15 vehicles loaded with food items, and set ablaze three vehicles and several houses without confrontation from security operatives.

He pointed out that apart from attacking his communities these days, the terrorists have resorted to burning of farm produce of his people who had suffered during the planting season.

Speaking on the effort put in place by the council to address the recurrent attacks, Yarakawa said, “Due to the exploits of the insurgents, Kuburmbula, Tsilari, Kamdzilari, Kuburnvwu , Kautikari, Kwada, Buftari and Kakulmari villages bordering Damboa and Sambia forest, and Klaimakla communities are still fully under the control of terrorists.”

Also speaking on the renewed attacks on Chibok, leader of vigilante group in Chibok, Commander Aboku said that, “The Boko Haram terrorists are always on the move and this makes it difficult to effectively monitor and apprehend them with ease.”


Source: nigerianeye

Boko Haram overrunning Chibok communities, leaders cry out

Weeks after they celebrated the release of 21 of their abducted daughters, the people of Chibok in Borno State say their communities are being overrun by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

They said at least nine communities under Chibok local government area have been either attacked, sacked or burnt down by rampaging Boko Haram insurgents.

The federal government has said that talks are continuing with Boko Haram for the release of some 196 Chibok girls still in captivity.

But the recent upsurge of hostilities by Boko Haram within and around Borno State, has raised concerns about the prospect of such talks.

The chairman of Chibok local government area, Yaga Yarkawa, on Monday, told journalists in Maiduguri that the most attack on Chibok communities took place was in Thlaimaklama village.

He said hundreds of persons fled their homes as the insurgents torched houses, looted foodstuff and stole livestock.

“Chibok is now under Boko Haram siege,” he said.

“Contrary to claims by government and security operatives, Chibok is not safe. There has been series of renewed attacks on our communities. As I am talking to you now the villages of Kuburmbula, Tsilari, Kamdzilari, Kuburnvwu, Kautikari, Kwada, Buftari and Kakulmari have all been attacked, and burnt down completely in the past weeks.”

Most of the villages bordering Damboa and Sambia forest parts of the state.

He said the latest attack took place at the weekend in Thlaimaklama village where the insurgents carted away farm products in 15 vehicles, after setting ablaze three vehicles and several numbers of houses without any confrontation from the military.

He said the insurgents came at the peak of the harvest period, and loaded their vehicles with the fresh harvests from the villagers’ farms.

“I have no doubt that the insurgents are in control of Kuburmbula, Tsilari, Kamdzilari, Kuburnvwu, Kautikari, Kwada, Buftari, Klaima and Kakulmari villages,” he said.

Confirming the development in Chibok, a leader of the vigilante group in Chibok, Commander Aboku said, “The Boko Haram terrorists have been on the move destroying every community they enter”.

He added that the fluid nature of their movement makes it difficult for them to confront them.

Mr. Abogu however said that the vigilante were able to kill two of the insurgents and recovered two AK47 rifles and a Hilux vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft gun.

He called on the military to move into the area and collaborate with the local vigilante who have better understanding of the difficult terrain.

BREAKING: Boko Haram sets fire on village near Chibok.

Boko Haram has burnt down a village neighbouring the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok where the group kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls two years ago, local residents said Wednesday.

A group of Boko Haram gunmen invaded Goptari, 10 kilometres from Chibok, late Tuesday and set it on fire after looting food supplies and livestock.

The attack underscores the continued threat of Boko Haram in Nigeria’s volatile northeast, where the military is still battling for control despite making gains against the insurgents over the past year.

“They attacked the village around 8:00 pm (1900GMT), firing heavy guns which made people flee into the bush,” Samson Bulus from nearby Kautikeri village told AFP.

“The Boko Haram raiders looted homes and shops, taking along food supplies and livestock before burning the entire village,” he said.

Luka Damina, another Kautikeri resident said troops in Chibok engaged the attackers in gun battle but were subdued by the insurgents.

“The Boko Haram fighters overpowered the soldiers and seized a van with a machine gun mounted on the deck from the soldiers,” he said.

Witnesses, including a local chief, said a soldier was wounded during the shootout.

The attack came two days after a raid on nearby Kallali village where the Islamists looted and burnt homes, a local chief told AFP.

Boko Haram has waged a seven-year insurgency against the Nigerian state that has claimed at least 20,000 lives and spilled across the country’s borders.

Aided by troops from neighbouring countries, the Nigerian military has recaptured swathes of territory from the Islamists since early 2015.

But Boko Haram has carried out sporadic attacks on remote villages in the restive region.

Last month eight people were killed outside a church in a village 30 kilometres east of Chibok. In August, 10 people were killed in another attack on nearby Kubrivu village.

Wounded Soldier Says – ‘Nigerians Should Pay Attention to Us Like Chibok Girls’

Cpl. Ibrahim Usman, one of wounded soldiers in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East, has called on Nigerians to pay more attention to troops’ welfare.

Usman made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Monday, when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, visited wounded soldiers at hospitals in Maiduguri.

The soldier, who was admitted to military hospital, Maimalari Cantonment, about three weeks ago, urged Nigerians to pay attention to soldiers’ well being in the frontline just as they were doing for the missing Chibok girls.

According to Usman, his two legs broke during an explosion when a vehicle conveying him and nine other soldiers to Monguno in Borno north during an operation stepped on mine planted by the terrorists.

“We need Nigerians to take care of us. Like this my injury, broken legs, they suppose to take me to a specialist hospital or abroad for a good treatment.

“If it is these girls – Chibok school girls, they will take them abroad. We are the ones fighting in the bush,’’ Usman said.

Although the solider said that he was responding to treatment, he said would retire from the military when he gets well due to the injury.

“I cannot fight again because I do not have that strength any more. My legs are broken.

“If I get well, I will retire because my legs are broken. I can no longer go and fight the insurgents,’’ Usman.

Another soldier, Sgt. Ahmed Musa, however, thanked the army chief for visiting wounded soldiers in the hospital.

Musa of 119 Battalion Task Force, Mallam Fatori said: “My situation when I got here was worse but God I am getting healed.”

“I have injury in one of my hands. When he – Buratai came here we are happy because when we came here we did not see anybody. We appreciate the way he comes here,’’ he said.

According to Cpl. Innocent Gabriel, a nurse attending to one of the wounded soldiers at the time of the visit, the common cases of injury are fractures resulting from explosions and gunshots.

Gabriel said that most of wounded soldiers were responding to treatment, adding that some of them may be taken to the theatre.

The doctor in charge of the hospital, Lt.-Col. Ndidi Onuchukwu, a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, said that 97 wounded soldiers were being treated in the facility which had capacity for 105 patients.

Onuchukwu said that the worst cases come from combat injuries, adding that the hospital was,collaborating with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital – UMTH to give the best to them.

Speaking after the visit, Buratai described it as “operation and welfare visit” to encourage the wounded soldiers.

He said that most of them would soon be discharged and commended troops for efforts in the war against the insurgents.

Prof. Abdurrahman Tahir, the Chief Medical Director of UMTH, lauded the army for the prompt settlement of its personnel medical bills. (NAN)


Boko Haram Used Chibok Ransom To Buy Powerful Weapons- Report

The recent ransom paid to Boko Haram in exchange for the release of some Chibok girls have contributed to the recent upsurge in the killings and disappearances of soldiers engaged in the fight against the insurgents, senior military sources have revealed.

The military men said that despite denials by the Federal Government, money was paid to the sect to secure the release of the abducted girls.

   It was learnt that the insurgents demanded for $50m for the release of the girls but about a quarter of the sum was eventually paid.

It was also learnt that the Federal Government paid the cash in two currencies – the naira and the CFA Francs to the leaders of the sect to facilitate the release of the girls.

But, the highly-ranked military men who are engaged in the war, and who craved anonymity because they were not authorised to speak for the military authorities, attributed the recent upsurge in the activities of the insurgents to the huge ransom paid for the release of the girls.

Prior to the current increase in the attacks by the insurgents, it was learnt that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, deployed in the North-East, had effectively cut off food and logistics supply to the insurgents.

Some of the sources, who are also commanders at the war front, said that the troops had effectively defeated the Boko Haram members, who were on the run while a good number of them had surrendered and taken to a rehabilitation camp established by the Defence Headquarters in Yola.

In October, 83 soldiers were reported missing days after they came under a Boko Haram attack. Though there have been increasing reports of soldiers either missing or killed since the Chibok girls were released, the military initially denied the report, it later said that only 39 soldiers were missing.

Also, on November 4, seven military men, including Lt.-Col. Muhammad Abu-Ali, were killed on their way to reinforce troops at Mallam Fatori during  a Boko Haram attack. Two days later, one soldier was also killed while four others were wounded in the line of duty.

In October, 21 of the over 200 girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014 were released by the group.

However, the Federal Government denied exchanging insurgents for the abducted girls and paying a ransom to the sect.

But the military sources insisted that Boko Haram did not release the girls without getting anything in return and that the Federal Government indeed paid a ransom and released some of the group’s strategists that were detainees.

One of the sources said it was sad that the same government that was initially seen as tough enough to end insurgency in the country failed to negotiate with Boko Haram from a position of strength.

“It is unfortunate that in government’s desperation to secure the release of the Chibok girls, it has put our (soldiers’) lives in danger by yielding to the demands of the group to collect a ransom and secure the release of its commanders.

“It is now obvious that the group has reinforced and bought more weapons to fight us.”

According to another source, left to the military, the ransom and the exchange of Boko Haram members for Chibok girls would not have taken place.

 “Funds were given to Boko Haram and now we can all see the result of that action; there have been renewed attacks recently and many of our men have been killed in the process but we will not relent, we will continue to do our best to secure this nation.

“The military had reservations about the arrangement but it was not in our hands; it was a political decision that we had to abide with and it was the DSS that was directly in charge of the operation,” the source added.

Another source, who is also active in the war theatre, said, “They got the Chibok girls and suddenly the Boko Haram that we had beaten and chased out of Sambisa are attacking and killing men of quality.

“It is very obvious that they have used the money they got from the deal to buy equipment and recruit men to carry out their heinous acts.

“The group is still in Mallam Fatori, theyhave infested the entire area and their strongest point into Chad is Abadam. It is from there that they disperse their men to carry out attacks.

“Another thing you must note is that the towns around the borders are occupied by mercenaries from foreign countries. Where did they get the money to fund that?”

Investigation revealed that Boko Haram members,  who were routed out of their dreaded Sambisa enclave by the military, had regrouped at Abadam, and were still holding onto the fringes of Mallam Fatori in the northern part of Borno State.

It was further gathered that the group was engaging the services of mercenaries with their operational base in Abadam in the far north, close to Chad.

The latest incidents contradict President Muhammadu Buhari’s assertion on December 24, 2015 that Nigeria had “technically” won the war against Boko Haram and that the militant group could no longer mount conventional attacks against security forces or population centres.

Read More: punchng

#BringBackOurGirls organises special sit-out for slain soldiers, families.

The #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group will on Saturday, November 12, 2016 hold a special sit-out for the fallen military officers and their families.

In a press release signed by the BBOG spokesperson, Sesugh Akume, the group stated that as a movement, it had always expressed gratitude to the soldiers who have continued to protect the nation adding that with the passing on at the weekend and final interment of widely- and highly-regarded Lt Col Muhammad Abu Ali and his colleagues, it became imperative that the group will once more remember them.

“The passing on at the weekend and final interment of widely- and highly-regarded Lt Col Muhammad Abu Ali and his colleagues has been a turning point for Nigerians and the world to appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, and their families.

“This instructs that our movement should stop for a day, and pay due acknowledgement to our soldiers at the frontlines of the counterinsurgency war, and their families for their sacrifice. Lt Col Abu Ali was definitely a hero as were many others whose gallantry none of us ever knew nor heard about. As there are others we may never know about.

“As a movement, our deference for, and gratitude to our soldiers has been in our culture. From the outset in May 2014, ‘Citizens Solution to End Terrorism’ document started advocating for our soldiers. Aside our special events on Armed Forces Remembrance Day, 15 January 2015 and 2016, as a movement there are many evidences of our celebration of their gallantry, of our focus on their welfare, and efforts for justice to be done them by their establishment.

“The exigencies of the moment make it obvious that we cannot wait for nine weeks (the next Armed Forces Remembrance Day, 15 January 2017) to honour the sacrifices of our fallen troops and their families”.

“There shall there be a special sit-out on Saturday 12 November 2016, 5 pm at Unity Fountain Abuja dedicated exclusively for this cause,” the statement said.

The group therefore called on men and women in uniform both in and out of service, families and the public to join in the special sit-out.

“We invite all men and women in uniform both in and out of service, families whose members have served in the military or are serving, as well friends and the public to join in this patriotic programme to mourn and celebrate the valour and service of our fallen heroes at this occasion,” it said.

What Nigerian Government Should do For 21 Released Chibok Girls – Pope Francis

Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis, has identified one more thing the federal government should do to get the Chibok Girls back to normal life.

The pope emphasized that the girls need experts to rehabilitate them.

The Pope, who was represented by the President of Pontifical Mission Societies (Nigeria), Rev. Fr. George Ajana, said this during this year’s World Mission Sunday at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Area 3, Abuja.

The Pope stated, “The release of the 21 Chibok girls is victory, it is a very good sign and we are thanking God for it that some of the Chibok girls were released. Nigerians have been celebrating all this while, the church joins them in the celebration and we are one with them. So, we, first of all, thank God that a few of them, just 21 were released.

“The Chibok girls need medical assistance; the government is doing that already. They have been taken to the hospital. I think they will need psychological rehabilitation. The government needs to bring in experts to stabilize them because they must have gone through a lot of trauma.

“Now, coming back, I don’t think they will be their normal selves any longer. So, the Chibok girls need to be psychologically brought back to their real life. And we need to pray for them; the church will be very happy to do that.”

FG working to secure release of 83 Chibok girls.

A faction of Boko Haram is ready to negotiate with credible intermediaries for the release of about 83 Chibok girls, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman said on Sunday.

The terror group on Thursday released 21 of the more than 200 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls held since April 2014 in a prisoner swap deal with the Nigerian government. The deal was brokered by the International Committee of Red Cross and the Swiss government.

“These 21 released girls are supposed to be talebearers to tell the Nigerian government that this faction of Boko Haram has 83 more Chibok girls,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, told Reuters.

“The faction said it is ready to negotiate if the government is willing to sit down with them,” said Shehu, adding that the state is prepared to negotiate with the branch of Boko Haram.

The group apparently split when the Islamic State group appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the head of Boko Haram early in August. But the erstwhile leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau,countered the appointment, insisting that he was still in charge.

It is unclear what the Federal Government did to secure the release of the 21 girls freed on Thursday, but AFP quoting local sources said four Boko Haram commanders were freed.

“The four Boko Haram militants were brought to Banki from Maiduguri in a military helicopter from where they were driven to Kumshe in ICRC vehicles,” AFP reported.

But Shehu and Nigeria’s minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed insisted that the government did not release any Boko Haram prisoner.

Chibok Girls: Action confirms Buhari’s sincerity – Shettima

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State yesterday said that the rescue of 21 Chibok schoolgirls by the military has strengthened the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to rescue others.

In a statement issued in Maiduguri by his Senior Special Adviser on Media, Isa Umar Gusau, Shettima said: “As people of Borno State troubled by the deaths and destruction of Boko Haram insurgency, one of our major sources of strength since May 29, 2015, has been the undiluted sincerity we saw in President Muhammadu Buhari based on his administration’s absolutely genuine commitment towards recovering our schoolgirls.

“We had faith in Buhari from the very day he took off as President.

“I am certain that the recovery of our 21 precious daughters from insurgency only strengthens the resolve of the Buhari administration to continue to work tirelessly until all the girls and all Nigerians abducted are freed.”

Shettima also commended the Nigerian armed forces and all those who worked towards the release of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls, saying: “We shall forever be grateful to those who contributed in any form towards this major feat that renews our hope to recover all our girls alive and in good health.”

Chibok Girls: Saraki Seeks Safe Return of Others

Senate President Bukola Saraki has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the security forces, Switzerland and the international community for the combined efforts that led to the release of the girls.

Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, however, expressed the hope that the release of more of the girls is imminent, admonishing security forces to remain vigilant in the face of the renewed security breaches in the North East.

He said: “We join all Nigerians to rejoice on the return of our daughters. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who have returned, and those girls who remain in the hands of the terrorists.

“The release of the 21 girls is a testament to the perseverance of our men and women in uniform, the civilian joint task force and a clear indication that this government has been relentless in securing their release,” the Senate President said.

“Moving forward, we need to ensure that the girls that have been returned back to us are re-united with their families, and rehabilitated to become full members of our society,” he added.

He cautioned: “We must also not take our foot off the gas, Nigerians must continue to be united and insistent on the safe return of the other girls that are still in the hands of Boko Haram,” he said.

The Senate President restated the commitment of the 8th Senate to continue supporting the Federal Government to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls, highlighting the fact that their abduction still represents a dark notch in the history of the country.

“On our part, the Nigerian Senate has been clear that we will continue to do everything within our powers to support efforts aimed at securing the release of the rest of the girls,” Saraki said.

Army denies Boko Haram hoisted flags near Chibok

The Nigerian Army has refuted the report that Boko Haram insurgents have hoisted flags in some communities near Chibok, Borno State.

A statement by the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said the troops of the Operations Lafiya Dole are maintaining a high level of vigilance in and around the area to forestall infiltration by the terrorists.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had yesterday reported that the insurgents hoisted their flags in three villages in northern Borno, after over-running the area.

The report said the attack followed another one on Monday evening in three villages of Kubirivour, Boftari and Kuburmbalah.
According to the report, it led to the death of eight people, including a village elder.

The elder was said to have been slaughtered by the terrorists, as other villagers scampered into the near by bushes for safety.

Usman said there was no presence of the sect near the reported location.

According to the army spokesman, “At about 4.35pm, suspected remnants of the sect attacked Boftari, which is about 15 kilometres from Chibok town.

“On receipt of the information, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole stationed in Forward Operation Base Chibok, mobilised to the area. The troops encountered the terrorists’ ambush site shortly before Kuburmbula village. They quickly cleared the ambush and proceeded to Boftari.

“Unfortunately, the terrorists had set some houses on fire and fled. The troops put out the fire and are currently on the hunt for the terrorists.”

No Boko Haram Flag Hoisted Near Chibok- Army

The Nigerian Army has refuted the report that Boko Haram insurgents have hoisted flags in some communities near Chibok, Borno State.

A statement by the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said the troops of the Operations Lafiya Dole are maintaining a high level of vigilance in and around the area to forestall infiltration by the terrorists.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had yesterday reported that the insurgents hoisted their flags in three villages in northern Borno, after over-running the area.The report said the attack followed another one on Monday evening in three villages of Kubirivour, Boftari and Kuburmbalah.

According to the report, it led to the death of eight people, including a village elder.

The elder was said to have been slaughtered by the terrorists, as other villagers scampered into the near by bushes for safety.

Usman said there was no presence of the sect near the reported location.

According to the army spokesman, “At about 4.35pm, suspected remnants of the sect attacked Boftari, which is about 15 kilometres from Chibok town.

“On receipt of the information, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole stationed in Forward Operation Base Chibok, mobilised to the area. The troops encountered the terrorists’ ambush site shortly before Kuburmbula village. They quickly cleared the ambush and proceeded to Boftari.

“Unfortunately, the terrorists had set some houses on fire and fled. The troops put out the fire and are currently on the hunt for the terrorists.”


#BringBackOurGirls: That show of shame by ‘Buhari supporters’ – Jude Egbas

When the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’  (BBOG) advocacy outfit set out for the presidential Villa, Tuesday; like they’ve promised to do every 72 hours hence, they were accosted by a pro-Buhari  group who promptly told them that the call to rescue the over 200 girls still in Boko Haram custody was a scam.

A sense of sickening déjà vu doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when I first read the news of all that transpired.

I can deal with the police always cordoning off the BBOG movement and demanding for a protest permit even when the officers know the group has been permitted by the courts to march around town peacefully.

I can handle the police calling on tanks and personnel each time the BBOG movement embarks on its routine peaceful marches.
Bring Back Our Girls group marches to Aso Rock on August 22, 2016 play

I can even handle sniggering APC faithful and online Buhari ‘overlords’ who now regard the BBOG movement with disdain—the same group they festooned with accolades only a year ago. The same group they cheered and urged on only a year ago under a different landlord in Aso Villa.

But what the heck is ‘With Buhari we stand’? Who paid these jobless band of renegades who carried placards and who were spoiling for a fight with an advocacy group that has done a good job of keeping the subject of the rescue of the Chibok girls on the front-burner for 3 years now?

“Buhari is a man of peace, stop frustrating him”, the pro-Buhari group chanted.

They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves if they know what it is to feel an ounce of shame.

The BBOG group has sent out a notice that they’ll be embarking on their marches every 72 hours. And just as well.

That resolution was reached after video tapes emerged showing that the Chibok girls are still alive.

The group has braved the rains and shine to demand for the rescue of the girls. They’ve been met with tanks and uncouth police bosses and they’ve been tagged a political outfit when it suits shameless political jobbers.

I’m ready to wager that we all would have moved on with our lives if Oby Ezekwesili, Bukky Shonibare and Aisha Yesufu weren’t out there on the front-lines, advocating that government should speed up efforts to rescue the abducted girls while it is yet day.

We can regard Ezekwesili, Shonibare and Yesufu with disdain today because we are sympathizers of the government and party in power, but sending hecklers after them is beyond the pale.

And if the presidency has a hand in this show of shame; if it is now in the habit of hiring protesters like was done in the past, then the ‘change’ Nigerians voted for may just be the scam some have said it is.

President Buhari says the Govt needs Credible Information in Order to Rescue Abducted Chibok Girls

President Buhari during a meeting  with the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon at the Presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday, said that in order for the government to successfully rescue the abducted Chibok girls, they need credible information on their exact location and the cooperation of the relevant persons.
General Gown said he talked about various issues with the country including the governments efforts at fighting corruption in the country. He said:

“We discussed the general affairs of the country, the problems of the country, his fight against corruption, and all the efforts that he is making to deal with it and of course, the impatience of the public to see results of the fight which have yet to be found, since people have not been prosecuted yet, that would soon begin. 

“These are some of the issues we talked about.

One appreciates his efforts and determination to rid the country of corruption, which is one of the problems that have held the country down and has created serious set backs to the country both nationally and internationally and then, of course, the current situation about the Chibok girls and the efforts the government is making to rescue them.

He said the government needed to get credible information about the whereabouts of the girls and also those that would assist the government achieve that.

“I believe that the government is certainly determined to ensure that a number of these girls are brought back home safely as soon as possible. To achieve that, certain credibility must be established of our sources on information on their location, but as at now, no one knows where these girls are, and all this information that you have been getting, I don’t know their sources, but all efforts at engaging the international media and sources are necessary so that this matter can be resolved once and for all”, he said.

Boko Haram Kills 11 Near Chibok

A Boko Haram attack on Kuburvwa village of Borno State has left at least 11 people dead.

Residents of the agrarian community said they buried 11 corpses on Monday after the Sunday evening attack. Several women and girls living in the community, close to Chibok were over 200 girls were kidnapped in 2014, are also yet to be accounted for.

A local security operative, who craved anonymity for safety reasons, said that “many women, mostly married, were raped while others were taken away by the gunmen”.

The spokesperson of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Abbas Gava, confirmed the attack to journalists in Maiduguri.

“The attack took place in Kuburvwa village which is located between Chibok and Damboa towns. According to reports we received from our operatives in that area, the Boko Haram gunmen invaded the village at night on Sunday and began to shoot.

“Many women, including house wives, were raped by the gunmen who also killed at least 11 persons.

“According to our men, who called us from Chibok, many people that fled the village into the bushes have not returned to the community as at Monday morning.”

Mr. Gava said his group, which works closely with the Nigerian military does not have “the exact number of women that were reportedly abducted by the gunmen.”

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Boko Haram: Escaped Chibok Girl Says She Just Wants To Go Home

In an interview with the Thompson Reuters Foundation published on Tuesday, the first of more than 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls to be rescued from Boko Haram after two years in captivity, said she simply wants to go home.


Amina Ali and her four-month-old baby were rescued in May near Damboa in Borno state by soldiers and a civilian vigilante group. Since then she has the federal government has kept her in a house in Abuja, carrying out a “restoration process” on her.


“I just want to go home – I don’t know about school,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “I will decide about school when I get back, but I have no idea when I will be going home,” Ali said.


Ali spoke to the Thomson Reuters Foundation days after the Islamist group published a video showing dozen of the girls.


In the video published by the militants on social media on Sunday, a masked man stands behind a group of the girls, and says some of their classmates have been killed in air strikes.


While Ali had not heard about the video, she said Boko Haram had told the abducted girls that everyone was looking for them.


“I think about them a lot – I would tell them to be hopeful and prayerful,” Ali said. “In the same way God rescued me, he will also rescue them.”


Ali, who was found by the army in May along with a suspected Boko Haram militant, Mohammed Hayatu, claiming to be her husband, said she was unhappy to have been separated from the father of her four-month-old baby girl.


“I want him to know that I am still thinking about him,” Ali said, relaxing and lifting her gaze off the ground only to breastfeed her child when she was brought into the room to feed.


“Just because we got separated, that does not mean that I don’t think about him,” Ali added.


Ali’s mother, Binta, spent two months with her daughter before going home to Chibok. She said last month she feared for Ali’s future.


She said her daughter had wanted to further her education before being kidnapped, but now she was afraid of school and wanted a sewing machine to start a business of clothes making.


Ali told her mother earlier this month that the girls, who are being held in Sambisa forest, were starved and resorted to eating raw maize, and that some had died in captivity, suffered broken legs or gone deaf after being too close to explosions.


Her mother said she had observed a positive change in Ali since her rescue, as she now slept much more peacefully than she had ever done before being abducted.


“I am not scared of Boko Haram – they are not my God,” Ali said.

How Second Chibok Schoolgirl Was Rescued- Nigerian Army

Hours after Amina Ali, one of the Chibok girls rescued on Wednesday from the insurgents, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Nigerian Army announced the rescue of another of the girls on Thursday evening.

Army spokesperson, Usman Sani, a colonel, who confirmed the rescue, gave the name of the rescued girl as Serah Luka, said to be number 157 on the list of abducted school girls.

Mr. Usman later narrated how the abducted girl was rescued.

He said in a statement, “At about 11.00am today, Thursday, 19th May 2016, troops of 231 Battalion, 331 Artillery Regiment (AR), Detachment of Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) 2, Explosive Ordinance (EOD) Team and Civilian Vigilante group of Buratai, conducted clearance operations at Shettima Aboh, Hong and Biladdili general area in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.

“During the operations, the troops killed 35 Boko Haram terrorists and recovered several arms and ammunitions and other items. In addition, they rescued 97 women and children held captives by the Boko Haram terrorists.

“We are glad to state that among those rescued is a girl believed to be one of the Chibok Government Secondary School girls that were abducted on 14th April 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists.

“Her name is  Miss  Serah Luka, who is number 157 on the list of the abducted school girls. She is believed to be the daughter of Pastor Luka. During debriefing, the girl revealed that she was a JSS1 student of the school  at the time they were abducted.

She further added that she hails from Madagali, Adamawa State. She averred that she reported at the school barely two months and one week before her unfortunate abduction along with other girls over two years ago.

“She added that there other three girls who fled from Shettima Aboh when the troops invaded the area earlier today which led  to their rescue.  She is presently receiving medical attention at the medical facility of Abogo Largema Cantonment, Biu, Borno State.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Six Abducted Chibok Schoolgirls ‘Dead’

Six of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls abducted in 2014 by Boko Haram are dead, activists and local officials have quoted one of the girls rescued Tuesday as saying.

Nineteen-year-old Amina Nkek was rescued in Kulakaisa village at the fringes of Sambisa forest, by a Chibok vigilante group, the sources said.

A source familiar with the rescue said Ms. Nkek was breast feeding a child.

After she was taken to Chibok, where she was identified by her parents, Ms. Nkek told the community leaders that “all the girls are in Sambisa forest, but six of them had died”, a source said.

The source quoted Ms. Nkek as saying that the remaining girls were “well secured and protected” to stop the Nigerian Army from rescuing them.

He added that the girl was taken to the army unit in Damboa, Borno state.

The army said in a statement that “one of the abducted chibok school girls, Falmata Mbalala, was among the rescued persons by our troops at Baale near Damboa”.

The statement, signed by army spokesperson, Sani Usman, did not say why the names differed.

Credit: PremiumTimes

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.



Missing Chibok Schoolgirl Calls Her Father

When Dauda Yama retrieved his mobile phone from a neighbour’s house in January this year, he noticed a missed call from his daughter Saratu who had been missing for almost two years.

The last time he spoke with Saratu was on April 14, 2014, when she rang to say men from the Islamist group Boko Haram had loaded her and her classmates from the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok in Borno State onto trucks.

Attempts to reach her again failed and two years on, 219 girls abducted that night remain missing, despite a global campaign #bringbackourgirls involving celebrities and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama calling for them to be found.

The students are among an estimated 2,000 girls and boys abducted by the Boko Haram since the start of 2014, with many of those abducted used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to an Amnesty International (AI) report.

But when Yama returned the missed call that evening, a man answered. Yama hung up and rushed to the home of Yakubu Nkeki, chairman of the Association of Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok.

“He asked me what he should do,” Nkeki, 58, a schoolteacher, whose 17-year-old adopted daughter Maimuna Yakubu Usman is among those missing, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Nkeki took the phone and redialled the number that was again answered by a man who said the phone belonged to his wife.

Reporting the matter to any of the armed personnel around Chibok was out of the question, so instead they informed a campaigner with the Bring Back Our Girls group, which advocates the return of the missing girls “now and alive”.

“We don’t know who to trust,” said Nkeki who has received physical threats for his efforts to keep the abduction of the Chibok girls in the headlines and the government’s sights with the abduction becoming a political issue for Nigerian leaders.

Providing counsel to parents of the missing Chibok girls is part of Nkeki’s role as chairman of the association. He also checks up on the parents to see if they need help at all.

“I check if they have food items or if someone is seriously sick,” he said. “If there is any issue, I call the committee members.”

Credit: Thisday

Anger In Chibok Over Lack Of Education

There’s not much left of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeast Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped 276 teenagers in the dead of night nearly two years ago.

Even the word “girls” on the school sign outside has been painted over in black — hidden from the world, just like the 219 students who are still missing.

Up the dusty track and beyond the heavy wrought-iron gates, soldiers stand guard with assault rifles, although there are few buildings and no people to protect.

Only the peeling light-green walls of the school’s main school building remain. Metal beams that supported the roof lie rusting. Rough grass pokes through shattered concrete.

The government of Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan announced shortly before last year’s election that rebuilding work had begun at the school.

But apart from piles of breeze blocks, there’s no evidence of any construction. The sprawling site is silent apart from the sound of cicadas and gusts of hot wind through the desert scrub.

Ayuba Alamson Chibok steps through the rubble where the girls’ dormitories once stood, picking up a bed frame from the scorched earth — one of the few signs the site was once inhabited.

“If the government wanted to do something, let them call the contractor… to put somebody on the ground,” the town elder told AFP, his voice rising in anger.

“Education here in Chibok has really come to zero level. This is the only school we have in Chibok and it has been destroyed.”

Credit: Guardian

Suspected Cameroon Bomber Not From Chibok

The Chibok Community in Abuja on Tuesday said the suspected female suicide bomber that was arrested in Cameroon was not from their community, based on  information made available to them by the Federal Government.

The Chairman of the community, Tsambido Abana, said on Tuesday that the suspect had never attended a conventional school, noting that the minor, who does not speak English, was believed to be from Bama area of Borno State.

Asked if his group had seen the girl’s picture, Abana stated that it was not released to him or his community members, adding that the picture was given to Aisha Oyebode of Murtala Muhammed Foundation for verification.

He said he would not approach the foundation for the picture, noting that it was clear that the girl was not from Chibok, based on the information released by the government.

“I won’t bother to go and see the picture, because from the information given by the government, it is apparent that the girl is not from Chibok. Going to see the picture would create an unnecessary tension and expectation among the Chibok parents whose daughters are missing,” he said.

Credit: Punch

‘Jonathan Called Me 19 Days After The Chibok Girls Had Been Kidnapped’ – Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima

Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, says former President Goodluck Jonathan, called him 19 days after the Chibok girls were kidnapped from their school in April 2014. Shettima said this while playing host to former President Obasanjo who arrived Borno state yesterday on a 2-day visit.

“In our own case, Your Excellency, after the Chibok abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in April, 2014, it took 19 days for me to receive a call from the Presidency. I brought this mainly to show the difference, because we will only appreciate scenarios when we make comparisons.”he said

He added that Obasanjo would have rescued the abducted girls if he was the president at that time.

‘We’ll Locate Chibok Girls, Others’ – Chief Of Air Staff Says

Few days after former President Obasanjo said that the missing Chibok girls will not be found again, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has expressed optimism that they will be rescued alongside other Nigerians kidnapped by Boko Haram. The Chief of Air Staff said this when he inspected various on-going projects of the Nigerian Air Force at its Tactical Air Command (TAC) in Makurdi, Benue State over the weekend.

“What I can tell you is that we are doing everything humanly possible to deal with all the challenges that there are in the current insurgency going on, that of course involves our trying to locate not only the Chibok girls but every Nigerian that is kidnapped. We are working day and night through intelligence gathering and surveillance. We are expending a lot of flying hours to make sure we are able to locate Chibok girls and every Nigerian that is kidnapped,” he said Obasanjo at a function in Ile-Ife on Friday February 5th, said searching for the missing girls would be in vain “Searching for the Cbibok girls would be in vain because nobody can bring back the girls for they are nowhere to be found. Nigerian leaders should stop deceiving the populace as Chibok girls cannot return again. The disappearance of the Chibok girls is as a result of non-challant attitude of the previous leaders who did not switch to action immediately, which constituted impediment to their return.”he said

Source – Kevdjakporblog

Chibok Girls Alive and Kicking, Says Journalist Ahmed Salkida

Ahmed Salkida, the only journalist known to have some access to the leadership of Boko Haram, has said credible sources have told him the Chibok girls are still alive, with some refusing to convert to Islam.

 Over 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped from their dormitory in April 2014 and at least 219 of them are still believed to be in captivity, although there is yet no clue on their location.

But Salkida, in an op-ed for, suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari should use state machinery to open up access to the militants rather than say he has no clue on the kidnapped girls whose abductions sparked off the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

Salkida wrote:

“Most of the Chibok girls, whether they are split into groups or not, are alive, multiple credible sources have told me, and if a deal to release them will weaken national security and endanger the entire country, then the federal government shouldn’t make a deal.

I am confident that Chibok girls and other captives can return to their families if the government is half as strong-willed as some of the girls in captivity that have refused to be married out or give up their faith.

The girls would have never backed out of any process, no matter how irritating it is. They would stay on and negotiate hard until they get a deal that will earn them their freedom and stop such abductions so that no one else can ever witness their woeful plight.”

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau – from whom nothing has been heard in the last 10 months — once released a video of the schoolgirls and said he had sold them off to marriage. All efforts to free the girls have failed.


Rebuilding What Was Broken: The Future Awards Africa Dreams Big For Mubi, Yola And Chibok

The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) team intends to visit 100 African cities in one year as part of events leading up to its 10th anniversary. The tour, they say, will help re-focus attention on the issues faced by young Africans, emphasize how members of their “global brain trust” across the world have solved these issues and then set up hubs of past winners, nominees, partners and volunteers in each city they visit to help solve the problems.

The early cities visited by the TFAA team received blasé responses from the watching public. Enugu, Banjul, Ibadan, Akure, Port Harcourt and Kano are all important cities in their own rights, but the visit by the TFAA team felt almost too routine to make people stop and pay close attention. Then last week, the team stepped into the heart of Nigeria’s ongoing war against terror and the lives scarred as a result, when they visited the towns of Chibok, Mubi and Yola. Their mission – same as with all the other cities visited – was not just to highlight challenges, but go beyond that to “spotlight inspiring stories and set up hubs to solve problems at scale.”

Co-founder of TFAA and managing partner of RED, Chude Jideonwo, led that leg of the tour himself, despite having been absent on all the other stops. “I had to go,” Jideonwo told The ScoopNG in an email. “I just had to go. I wanted to walk the talk.” He said that “engagement, advocacy, problem solving are more effective when the person passionate about the issue gets his or her hands dirty.”

Jideonwo, who laments the limits of his humanity as an individual managing three firms and who cannot physically be present at every stop of the tour, said he decided to go to the “most at-risk areas” because the image of doing first before asking others to do is important.

Chibok is the town in Borno state where over 200 school girls were kidnapped in 2014, leading to the birth of the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls movement. The girls remain missing till date. Yola and Mubi, the two largest and most important towns in Adamawa state, have suffered severe disruptions in normal life as a result of insurgency. The latter town was overrun by terrorists who chased out an army contingent stationed there in 2014 and hoisted their flags, shutting down schools and offices. The most prominent educational institution in the town, the Mubi Polytechnic, only reopened in June 2015, eight months after the attack. Yola, meanwhile, continues to suffer bomb attacks with the most recent occurring last month when suicide bombers struck at a mosque during Friday prayers. Over 20 people lost their lives.

“The stories and the people we have met on this trip have confirmed some of our worst fears, but more importantly also fired up our resolve,” said Jideonwo after the tour. “There is so much work we have to do, and we are building a network of problem solvers across the continent to engage, solve and sustain the solutions to these problems.”

Mohamed Diaby, another member of the TFAA Central Working Committee, from Abidjan, said even though they have seen enough challenges and issues during the tour to cause worry, they remain “determined to lead an army of young people, through our hubs, to do this urgent work, to solve these problems.”

Three such hubs have now been set up by TFAA in Mubi with the Initiative for Human Rights; in Yola with Centre for Caring, Empowerment and Peace Initiative (CCEPI) and in Chibok with the Red Cross. According to the organisers, the hubs will work together with the Global TFAA Secretariat to “pull resources and media attention to solve the identified problems in each community.”

Up next is Johannesburg, South Africa, which will be the last stop for phase one of the tour. The Future Awards Africa 2015 will be hosted in Lagos on Sunday, 6 December, 2015.

The team

Team with a young girl

TFAA Team with the vigilante group who won the war with the soldiers

TFAA team

I6 Persons Abducted From Chibok Again, Community Releases Names

The Chibok community has identified and released the names of the 16 persons abducted from the community on Sunday and called on the federal government and the security operatives to go into action and rescue them before their case becomes like that of the Chibok girls.

Speaking at the #BringBackOurGirls group sit-out yesterday, the chairman of the Chibok community in Abuja, Tsambido Hosea Abana said that their people back home confirmed the attack on the community and identified some men and woman, who were taken.

Part of the message sent noted that on September 20, at about 5am, some people, believed to be members of the Boko Haram sect attacked Kuburyivu village in Chibok LGA of Borno State, killing three persons and took away, in captive, 16 young men and women.

The statement added that those killed include Yaga Allaji, Ayuba Nkeki and Fali Mingla; while those abducted included Ngwaladu Muta, Bindu Mallum, Grace Watsai, Noami Yohanna, Ali Muta, Mohammed Sadiq.

Others are Lawan Sadiq, Lugwa Lalai, Mary Yohanna, Nkeki Ishaya, Glory Maigali, Patuma Dibal, Kwatuwa Dibal and Saraya Dibal.

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Borno Govt. Denies Appointing Chibok School Principal As Commissioner

The Borno State government on Thursday denied an online media report that principal of Government Secondary School (GSS) Chibok, Asabe Kwambura, has been appointed a commissioner by Gov. Kashim Shettima.

Ms. Kwambura was in charge of the Chibok school in April 14 when Boko Haram stormed the school and abducted more than 200 girls. The girls remain in captivity more than a year after.

The principal has been accused of conniving with the state government to run the school at the time despite security report that it was unsafe to do so. Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser on Communications Strategy to Mr. Shettima, in a statement in Maiduguri, described the report as “a mischievous joke”.

“In the last one week, we have noticed a very strange information being circulated by some online media platforms claiming that Shettima had nominated Asabe Kwambura, the Principal of GSS, Chibok for the post of the Commissioner of Education.

“We completely ignored the report for what it was, a mischievous joke and cheap blackmail that did not deserve any response, as it was mainly ‘trending’ on the social media,” he said.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Photos: US Congresswoman Host 6 Girls Who Escaped From Boko Haram Captivity

US Congress women led by Representative Frederica Wilson yesterday June 10 met with 6 Nigerian girls who escaped from Boko Haram captivity. The Congress women all wore red which is the color code for the Bringbackourgirls campaign.

They later filed outside the congress building carrying placards with the message”Bring Back Our Girls”. Some Congress men also came out to lend their voices. More photos below…

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We Believe Our Missing Girls Will Come Home Eventually, Says Chibok Community

Members of the Chibok com­munity in Borno State have not yet seen any of their 219 schoolgirls abducted over a year ago by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast of the much beleaguered state.

However, they insist that they have high hopes that their missing daughters would soon walk home. Tuesday’s res­cue of 200 girls and 93 women that was announced by the authorities has raised their hopes that things might soon turn around for good for them, and their daughters would eventually be rescued.

The Nigerian military high command on Tuesday announced that troops had rescued some 200 girls and 93 women during a counter-insurgency operation near Sambisa Games Reserve where the Boko Haram insurgents have their camps.

“Our gallant troops have been making progress in the desired aim of ridding the nation of terrorists and their sanctuaries. It is heartwarming to inform you that today, (Tuesday), troops continued the offensive and cleared four key terrorists camps in Sambisa forest, Borno State. So far, they have destroyed and cleared Sassa, Tokumbere and two other camps in the general area of Alafa, all within the Sambisa forest. The troops rescued 200 abducted girls and 93 women. They are presently being processed,” Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, disclosed in a message to Daily Sun on Tuesday.

Some media reports had speculated that the 200 rescued girls might be part of the 219 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the insurgents on April 14, 2014. But the military, while clarifying the report, insisted that those rescued were “not Chbok girls.”
However, parents and relations of the Chibok schoolgirls, in their reaction to the news of the release of the 200 girls, said the development had raised their hopes that their daughters could be found soon. They said the rescue also brought to the fore the fact that several other women and girls had been kidnapped before and after April 14, 2014 when their daughters were whisked away into the forest by Boko Haram.

“We are happy because people that were hitherto not known to have been abducted are now being rescued, It is giving hope to us the parents and relations that some of the Chibok girls will be freed one day, even if not all,” spokesman of the Chibok Community (Kibaku Association), Dr Mannaseh Allen, informed Daily Sun.

According to him, the rescue on Tuesday of the women and girls has cleared the air of initial doubts from certain quarters over the abduction of the Chibok girls.
“This development also gives us hope and clears the air of intial doubts that the abduction of our daughters was untrue. It gives credence to the fact that not only Chibok schools girls have been kidnapped by Boko Haram but several others who many people outside Borno were unaware of,” he added.

He said Chibok people were now more hopeful than ever before, adding that the despair and gloom of the commemoration of the one year anniversary of the kidnap of the teenagers have now thawed with the cheering news by the military on Tuesday. He said right now, the entire community was rejoicing with the families of the 200 girls and 93 women just rescued. “At least,, we believe they can now re-unite with their families after they have been identified,” he noted.
A security source confirmed to Daily Sun that many of the rescued girls were earlier kept in Gwoza by the insurgents but were moved to Sambisa forest when the military launched an offensive in the area earlier in April, leading to the recapture of the hilly town that had been a stronghold of the insurgents. It was named the capital of Boko Haram’s purported Islamic caliphate.
Some teenagers were kidnapped in Konduga and Askira Uba in June, 2013 when the insurgents attacked the area while several others were abducted in the series of attacks on communities by the insurgents. Many believe more girls and women kidnapped by Boko Haram in the state might still be unaccounted for.

But a convener of Pro-women rights group, Women for Peace and Security Network who is also a Bring Back Our Girls Crusader, Prof Auwa Biu said the rescue of the 200 girls did not call for jubilation.

“There is no cause for any jubilation for some of us in the campaigns to bring back our girls,” she said in a telephone interview with Daily Sun yesterday. She challenge the military to produce the photographs of the women and girls that were rescued immediately, wondering why the military made the information about the rescue known to the public before carrying out its investigation. She described the effort as diversionary, saying the military only used the 200 girls to take away attention of the people from the schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls’ College, Chibok, in April last year.

‘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.”

Boko Haram: My Administration Will Resume Training Agreement With US – Gen. Buhari

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari says his administration would welcome the resumption of a military training agreement with the United States as part of efforts to end Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

The training agreement had been halted by the administration of President Goodluckk Jonathan when it could not meet its part of the deal. The agreement required Nigeria to provide equipment to be used for the training, while the USA would provide world class military personnel to train one battalion of the Nigerian Army to international standards to combat terrorism. While the US provide the personnel, the Nigerian government could not provide the equipment, forcing the deal to end.

However, in an opinion piece by incoming president, Buhari, his government would ensure the training resumes. He added that the country must also have better coordination with the military campaigns its African allies, like Chad and Niger, are waging in the struggle against Boko Haram. “But, in the end, the answer to this threat must come from within Nigeria.”

Deploy more troops
“We must start by deploying more troops to the front and away from civilian areas in central and southern Nigeria where for too long they have been used by successive governments to quell dissent. We must work closer with our neighbors in coordinating our military efforts so an offensive by one army does not see their country’s lands rid of Boko Haram only to push it across the border onto their neighbors’ territory,” Buhari wrote.

While this is done, he raises another fundamental thing that the country needs to do to counter the terrorists. “We must address why it is that young people join Boko Haram.”

“There are many reasons why vulnerable young people join militant groups, but among them are poverty and ignorance. Indeed Boko Haram — which translates in English, roughly, as “Western Education Is Sinful” — preys on the perverted belief that the opportunities that education brings are sinful. If you are starving and young, and in search of answers as to why your life is so difficult, fundamentalism can be alluring. We know this for a fact because former members of Boko Haram have admitted it: They offer impressionable young people money and the promise of food, while the group’s mentors twist their minds with fanaticism.

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

Full Report of President Jonathan’s Visit to North East

President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday in Mubi, Adamawa State and Baga, Borno State applauded Nigerian troops for proving their mettle once again through the rapid recapture of territories formerly held by insurgents in the country’s North-Eastern states.

He assured the soldiers that they wouldl be duly rewarded for their bravery and patriotic service to the nation at the successful conclusion of ongoing operations against Boko Haram.

Addressing officers and men of the Nigerian Army in both towns, which were recently recaptured from Boko Haram, President Jonathan declared that he and all Nigerians were very proud of the bravery, competence and patriotism with which they were now undertaking operations to expel the insurgents from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The President said that with their recent successes, which have overwhelmingly turned the tide against Boko Haram, the Nigerian military has proven beyond any doubt that it remains fully capable of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

The military’s recent victories against Boko Haram, President Jonathan told the troops, have also proven conclusively that all those, within and outside the country, who cast aspersions on Nigerian soldiers and questioned their ability and willingness to overcome the insurgents were misinformed and wrong.

Mr. Jonathan, who was accompanied on the trip by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and all the Service Chiefs, assured the troops that the Federal Government would ensure they received all the equipment and logistics they require to complete the ongoing mission to reassert government’s effective control over all areas formerly held by Boko Haram.

The President promised the soldiers that all issues pertaining to their welfare will be properly and expeditiously addressed.

Families of soldiers who had sadly lost their lives in battles against Boko Haram would also be well provided for, the President further assured the troops.

The soldiers responded to the President’s address with chants of “Never Again” and assured him that insurgents and terrorists will never again be allowed to take and hold any Nigerian territory.

While in Mubi, President Jonathan, accompanied by the Governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari and the Minister of Youth Development, Bonnie Haruna, paid a courtesy call on the Emir, Isa Ahmadu.

He assured the Emir that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to ensure that normalcy was speedily returned to Mubi and other towns and settlements recently recaptured from Boko Haram to enable displaced persons return to their homes in the shortest possible time.

President Jonathan also undertook an aerial inspection of other towns and areas recently recaptured from Boko Haram including Monguno.

Before returning to Abuja, the President met and conferred with the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in Maiduguri.

Reuben Abati
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)

Chibok: What Really Happened Last April

Despite coming from a poor home in the desperately poor village of Jajeel in Borno State, Hannatu Ishaku, 16, always had big dreams. As early as when she was 10, she promised herself that she would be the first lawyer from her village, something that made her parents happy.

Today, however, her parents’ happiness has evaporated because Hannatu’s bold dream looks like it is dead. Grief, anger and regret have replaced happiness in their home.

Hannatu is one of over 200 girls who were kidnapped by members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, GGSS, Chibok, on April 14, 2014.

For the Ishaku family, it was a double loss. Also abducted was Hannatu’s cousin, Anthonia Yohanna, 18, who lived with the family for years.

Adamu Ishaku, the patriarch of the family, spoke to our reporter shortly before last Christmas. He looked frail and sad-eyed, apparent consequences of the trauma her daughter’s abduction has brought on him.

“The five of us lived together,” Ishaku said. “Now it’s just me, my wife, and her brother. Without those two, the house is empty.”

Ishaku’s wife looks worse. The unfortunate event has sapped her of vitality. The little energy she has left was expended on weeping as she spoke with the reporter. Her daughter’s dream of becoming a lawyer no longer matters. What matters is for her to see Hannatu.

“I just want my daughter. I am not interested in her going to school anymore,” she said dejectedly in a tone that betrayed hope, not expectation.

What really happened in Chibok?

The world woke up one morning last April to the shocking news of the kidnap of over 200 girls who were writing their West African Examination Council, WAEC, examination at the GGSS, Chibok, Borno State.

Investigations by the in Chibok showed that there had been a lot of misrepresentation of facts about the kidnap of the girls.

Read More:

Boko Haram Abducts 40 Boys, Men in Borno Village

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have kidnapped 40 boys and young men in a remote village in Borno state on New Year’s Eve?, residents who fled the isolated settlement said on Saturday.

Scores of Boko Haram militants stormed the Malari village and whisked away the males, aged between 10 and 23, into the nearby Sambisa forest, believed to be one of the Islamists’ major bases. The news of the abductions came out only days later, when residents who fled the village arrived in the state capital Maiduguri late on Friday. “They came in pick-up trucks armed with guns and gathered all the men in the village outside the home of the village chief where they preached to us before singling out 40 of our boys and taking them away,” Bulama Muhammad told AFP

?Malari village lies 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) from the Sambisa forest and close to the town of Gwoza, which the militants captured last June declaring it part of their caliphate. “My two sons and three nephews were among those taken away by the Boko Haram? gunmen and we believe they are going to use them as conscripts,” Muhammad said.

“When we heard of the kidnap of 40 boys in Malari by Boko Haram we decided to leave because we could be the next target,” said Alaramma Babagoni, who fled from the nearby village of Mulgwi. There was no immediate comment on the incident from the military in Maiduguri.

Boko Haram is still holding in captivity more than 200 schoolgirls it abducted from their school in Chibok in Borno state last April.

The Islamists are believed to control large swathes of territory in Borno as well as several towns and villages in two other northeastern states, Adamawa and Yobe.

Boko Haram’s five-year uprising in Nigeria has claimed more than 13,000 lives and has seen dozens of people, including women and children, kidnapped by the Islamists.



Watch: Chibok Girl’s Escape Story

Deborah spent a day in the Sambisa forest before running away. Now she is afraid to return to school in Nigeria. She and some other escapees have secured funding with the help of an organisation called Education After Escape, to go America to finish school.

As she prepared to leave she decided to speak out on behalf of their friends who are still in captivity.

Credit: BBC

Boko Haram Kills 20 Villagers Near Chibok

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 20 people in an attack Monday on two villages on the outskirts of Chibok, the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in April, said a Nigerian civilian defense officer.

Attackers struck Kamtahi and Galtimari villages Monday evening, burning houses and forcing residents to flee, Muhammed Abbas Gava, spokesman of a Nigerian civilian militia, told the Associated Press.

“Virtually every house in the two villages were burnt to ash,” said Gava. “The villages were totally razed down as residents fled for their lives, some with injuries.”

Borno State police command spokesman, Gideon Jubrin, told AP he was not aware of the incident.

This is part of a string of attacks in Borno state, including two suicide bombings on Tuesday at a crowded marketplace. Dr. Musa Taji, a medical doctor in Maiduguri, said at least 70 people were killed.

On Monday, suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked the village of Damasak, driving into the town with improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs.

Credit: Yahoo News


Vigilante Efforts in Fights Againt Boko Haram in Chibok

Leading elder Pogu Bitrus told AFP that Chibok was recaptured in a joint operation with local vigilantes known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, who back up the military in several parts of the northeast where Boko Haram is active.

He said the vigilantes fought inside Chibok while army soldiers “stayed outside the town to mop up the insurgents trying to escape”.

Boko Haram fighters had captured the town on Thursday after a battle lasting several hours that local officials said left many victims among both the insurgents and the local militias.

Several residents said the army had fled the assault, leaving the vigilantes to fight on their own against Boko Haram.

There was no immediate information about any casualties from Saturday’s battle for the town, which witnesses say is virtually empty of residents.

Credit: AFP

Nigerian Army Recapures Chibok

The Nigerian army said Sunday it had recaptured the northeastern town of Chibok, where Islamic militants abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April, provoking a wave of global outrage.

Control of Chibok is crucial to the reputation of the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and the military, which have both come under fire at home and abroad for their failure to rescue the girls.

The army recaptured the town from Boko Haram militants late Saturday, spokesman General Olajide Olaleye told AFP in a text message.

“Mopping up ops ongoing. (The) town is now secured,” he said.

The operation came just days after Jonathan on Tuesday announced his bid for re-election, vowing to defeat Boko Haram whose brutal five-year insurgency has plagued his first term in office.

 Credit: AFP


Boko Haram Seizes Chibok…

Boko Haram has seized the town of Chibok in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, from where 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped more than six months ago, a local pastor and a senator told AFP on Friday.

“Chibok was taken by Boko Haram. They are in control,” said Enoch Mark, a Christian pastor whose daughter and niece are among the 219 teenagers still being held.

Mark and the senator for southern Borno, Ali Ndume, said the militants attacked at about 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Thursday, destroying communications masts and forcing residents to flee.

Ndume said that he had received calls from fleeing residents saying the town “was now under their (Boko Haram) control”.

“There is no telephone service now in Chibok, which is why it took time before the reports reached me,” he added.

Credit: Yahoo News/ AFP

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.

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#BringBackOurGirls at Aso Rock

Protesters demanding the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped six months ago by Islamist militants, demonstrated in front of the president’s home on Tuesday, urging the government to do more to free them. Around 60 people in red T-shirts that read “Bring Back Our Girls” marched to the residence of President Goodluck Jonathan in a leafy part of the Nigerian capital, which was guarded by more than 150 armed police. Scores of other protesters were prevented from joining the rally by other police lines at the top of the street.

“I want the president to try and bring back my friends,” said Rebecca Ishaku, who managed to escape from the clutches of the Boko Haram militants, she adds that, “I can’t even imagine what’s happening to them.”

A leader of the organisation of Chibok parents, Hosiah Lawan, struggled to hold back tears as he addressed the crowd, some of whom were also crying. He said government reassurances of an imminent rescue had originally given him hope. “That hope is now fading fast,” he said.

Jonathan sent his minister for lands and housing, Akon Eyakenyi, to meet the protesters, who were chanting “Bring back our girls now, and alive!” and waving banners. “The president will do something …. by the grace of God the girls will be brought back home,” Eyakenyi said.


“Freedom is a Good Thing”- Boko Haram Cameroonian Hostages Open Up

Abducted Cameroonians, including the wife of one of Cameroon’s deputy prime ministers, shared their experiences during their stay with the Islamist since their abduction in July during two simultaneous assaults, blamed on Boko Haram, in which at least 15 people died.

Abdouraman Seini, among the released hostages who survived a gunshot to his hand, told VOA that he and the other captives were forced to eat whatever was provided and most times went for days without water to drink. He said they lived in miserable conditions and that they were tortured by men armed with knives and guns, adding that “Freedom is a good thing, I pray such a thing never happens to anyone.”

Abdouraman Seini added that he did not see any of the more than 200 girls from Chibok, Nigeria that Boko Haram claimed responsibility for kidnapping in April. According to him “women are separated from men in the various detention camps run by the militants in the bush”.

Seini also told VOA he believes it is very likely Boko Haram fighters will continue their attacks because they are running out of food for the hundreds of fighters and the hundreds of captives they have.

One of the released Cameroonians, Seiny Boukar Lamine, told state radio, “we were in these sort of huts in a pretty dense forest, it was in a savannah with big trees and a lot of brush. We slept on the ground”. He said he was held with his wife and six children.

Nigerian Army Intensifies Attack on Boko Haram


The Nigerian army has launched a massive attack against Boko Haram to recapture the northeastern town of Michika that fell to militants over the weekend.

A resident of Chibok, located 20 kilometers from Michika said on Wednesday that, they have been hearing thunderous explosions from bombs dropped by military jets on Michika.

He adds that, “the sounds of explosions are more intense at night when flashes of exploding bombs can be seen from Chibok.”

Another witness from Jiginlambu village, eight kilometers from Michika, said that “Nigerian troops are getting an upper hand on Boko Haram.”

Chibok: Why are our female legislators M.I.A? – Ayisha Osori


What differentiates the 20 female senators of the United States Congress who signed a joint statement in support of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and the 34 collectively silent women in Nigeria’s seventh Assembly?

According to the New York Times, within 2 weeks of the campaign for the Chibok girls going global, female US Senators had also met with Secretary of State Kerry to push for sanctions on Boko Haram and surveillance support for the search. Senator Susan Collins, who co-spearheaded the effort, marveled at how easy it was to get the women together, “There was no need to convince, or cajole, or persuade. These girls cry out for a voice”.

Unfortunately, the female legislators in the National Assembly do not collectively feel the same way and it is important to ask why.

One possible explanation is that regardless of party, female Nigerian legislators cannot empathize with the public. Increasingly benumbed by daily reports of deaths and abductions, the argument could be, that if nothing was done in February when 59 boys were murdered in school, this abduction does not warrant special reaction. Fair enough considering the body count of over 2000 Nigerians killed by Boko Haram since Jan 1 2014. But Chibok is different because there is a solution which is to get the girls back. If the stories of abductions since November 2013 were not alarming, then the impunity of moving into a school and carting off hundreds of girls in the care of a government that was under a State of Emergency should be considered a game changer.

The second theory for their silence has been that the women fear alienating their parties and sponsors. We are 10 months away from the general elections and for those in PDP and APC everything is about 2015. But this is why there is safety in numbers. Using the Violence Against Persons Bill, currently languishing in the Senate, the respective chairs of the Committee on Women Affairs – Senator Esuene and Hon. Alaaga or even by Hon. Khadi who represents Jere constituency in Borno, could have galvanized all the female legislators. They could have shown agency and taken the opportunity for bi-partisan, joint house showwomanship to push for a bill that has been in the system for over a decade.

The lack of reaction is symptomatic of a larger malaise that infects all arms of government: a disconnect from the public, an increasing unwillingness to identify with social issues and/or recognize tipping points and a lack of accountability to citizens which stems from the doubtful legitimacy of those elected into office. That is the heart of the matter concerning elected representatives who are not concerned with issues which impact over 70% of the population.

While there is a global campaign to increase the representation of women in government in the belief that more women translates to sustained development, under Nigeria’s current political system and structures, it is unrealistic to expect this result. If we run a political process which is based not on valid votes but on rigging, violence, vote buying, security agency manipulation and compromised electoral officers, then we cannot expect to have men and women in elected office who are accountable to us.

This explains the problem identified in a Washington Post article where the authors pointed out that ‘the growth of women in African governance has not necessarily translated into real influence’ (‘nor translated into gains for women and children’). It also explains the silence of our female executives.

Some think that one of the biggest flaws of any feminist movement is the belief that women have an innate bond. Perhaps. But there is undoubtedly an empathy line that lights up once in a while. Sometimes all humans get the tug but there are situations, which are especially poignant for women, and loosing a child is one of them. The individual statements of a few female legislators and any behind the scenes support for the campaign are not enough. ‘I think when women come together across party lines, it is very powerful and effective,’ US Senator Landrieu said explaining why they acted. ‘When women stand united on an issue like this, we can bring tremendous amount of moral authority to the issue.’ It is a shame that our female legislators are incapable of understanding this.

It will be an even greater shame if we cannot change our political system to ensure that going forward, only the most capable and caring Nigerians get elected into office to represent us.

#KakandaTemple ~ Finally, Our Deaths Will Be Televised!


There’s no indignity as having the news of a people’s misery and deaths denied, played down or unsympathetically politicised. The only tragedy worse than this may be the lack of strategy or, as some have said of the ongoing counter-terrorism, of the “will” to end these many killings.

The past few weeks have been peculiarly Nigerian – a condition I liken to a nightmare. The most frightening, especially to the ruling class, was the ease with which Abuja was threatened, its security arrangement openly undermined, not once, nor twice, in a short time: the attack of the headquarters of our biggest intelligence-gathering agency in broad daylight and the bombing, twice, of Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja. Outside the marble corridors of Abuja, it was actually the abduction of almost 300 schoolgirls that has sparked a fashionably viral hashtag campaign – #BringBackOurGirls.

The online campaign turned into physical protests, attracting the attention of the international community and the active participation of conscientious people all over the world. In Abuja, the nation’s second largest hub of internet users after Lagos, the campaign has become a daily convergence for a series of meetings – and so far two marches to offices of concerned security chiefs have taken place – where deliberations on the fate and freedom of the abducted girls were made. The success of Abuja’s #BringBackOurChild campaign is attributed to various factors of which the social class of the campaigners is the top. A friend of mine playfully dubbed the campaign “The Ajebota Awakening”; but in all fairness, these are the only people, largely members of the (comfortable) middle-class, worthy of being listened to by the government of which they’re either beneficiaries, previously involved or with whose functionaries they’re friends or relatives.

All the revolts against the establishment ever initiated by the masses were discriminately crushed by the security personnel, their bodies and rights trodden underfoot. The only revolution a hungry people know is called riot. It’s destructive, and costly. Because they’re immediately possessed by anger the moment they take to the street to protest an injustice. So, statistically, a successful revolt of the masses is impossible, in fact unthinkable, in Nigeria. This is why it’s advisable to applaud the efforts of the “middle-class”, the similarly oppressed people, now strutting to challenge the authorities to #BringBackOurGirls.

This is also why I do not understand those who have condemned the participation of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar’s wife and daughter in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. What we call activism is actually a campaign against, or reaction to, perceived injustice, social and political. It’s the responsibility of everyone of us; even those unaffected are indirect victims.

I really do not understand the “I wish I were an activist” armchair critics to whom a rise against national threat is a responsibility of a few, of “activists.” See, activism is not a profession, it’s an instinctual response to a failed system. And if you’ve not been really rattled by the happenings in Nigeria, that’s because you’ve run out of compassion!

The participating Atikus are, in my understanding of ethics, more responsible and relevant than their critics tweeting from bedroom and offices in this dangerous time. You may call their involvement a publicity stunt, but publicity, attracting the eyes of the world to our wounds, is what we need in this search for healing, this agitation for purpose, for the meaning of being (a Nigerian). Thankfully, our misery has been noticed, and promises to intervene already pledged by the real countries of which the involvement of one, the United States of America, known for marked double-standards, has further polarised the citizens.

There’s something painfully hypocritical about the Nigerians now condemning the United States of America’s offer to support us in curbing this escalating terrorism, having all understood that our indigenous counter-terrorism measures have failed.

At least, with foreigners involved in this fight, there may be less ranting over our government’s complicity in fueling terrorism in the north, over cheap and unverifiable propaganda and conspiracy theories. I welcome the Americans because, for a start, there’s no hope of a triumph over the terrorist cult in locally politicised security arrangements.

I don’t understand this: you’ve accused Goodluck Jonathan of being an Abubakar Shekau masked, and even ridiculed the efforts of the understandably unmotivated Nigerian soldiers dying to protect you in the northeast. In a bid to end this mischievous conspiracy, the accused accepted the offer of “neutral” forces – and by this I mean neutrality in the politics of our ethno-religious rivalries, for Uncle Sam’s interests aren’t that petty – to intervene. Suddenly you feel the President has been innocent, and that it’s actually the expected Americans, through their compliantly evil CIA, who have been messing up this polity all along. I wrote against our hypocrisy on the Boko Haram when some of us became uncritical disciples of Governor Nyako-promoted conspiracy theory.

I do not, and may never, believe in conspiracy theory. At least not when and where there are many unexplored clues. I think doing so is a misuse of our intellect, an absolute abuse of human wisdom and the power of reasoning. Conspiracy theory ought to be the last deduction, and final intellectual resort, of any thinking person. That we do not understand doesn’t mean we must embrace cheap escapism or accuse an easy target of perpetrating an only partially investigated crime.

So spare me the history lecture, I don’t mind having this godforsaken country colonised again, with every damned institution under a racist Conrad, every school under an erudite missionary – a bumpy reverse into a century past.

Are we the only race ever possessed by these crises of spiritual, ethnic and national identities? Have we no wisdom to manage diversity? Why are we so innately savage? As long as we’re incapable of running an institution, there’s no shame in “stepping aside” for the actually sympathetic savages to assist us. Of course, this too is a conspiracy theory – a script of the American “occupiers!”

The hypocrisy of expecting a government you accuse of being complicit in sponsoring terrorism to stop the trend is a disturbing misuse of intellect. While the foreigners have already offered to assist us, our government, from all I’ve gathered so far, has no tangible clues about the whereabouts of the missing girls, so they chose to inaugurate a committee, a needless fanfare to waste national resources and time.

With the rate at which insanity consumes our leaders, especially the occupants of Aso Rock who seem to have run out of conscience, there’s a need to have Henry Ross Perot’s wisdom permanently engraved on a wall in the offices of high-ranking public servants and politicians in Nigeria. Even in Mr. President’s “Oval Office” or whatever he calls that relaxation chamber that is his office. Perot has said, and we have acknowledged without heeding:

“If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes.”

Our girls have been abducted by the most dangerous of snakes ever witnessed in the history of this country for destruction, both medically and psychologically, yet you set up a committee to gather and drink champagne and laugh over the delusion of rescuing them? Because they’re children of nobodies? Just look at the way FEC meeting was cancelled some days ago in honour of VP Sambo’s deceased brother by a president who could not cancel a political rally in honour of Nyanya blast victims. Because they’re nobodies. They’re just statistics. Worthless. Like our rebased GDP!

As for those who have already prophesied a catastrophe as the aftermath of foreign interventions, what would be more catastrophic than having minors continuously abducted by the terrorists, and savagely raped, without a means or will of rescuing them? Nigeria is already a catastrophe for those who have stopped living in denial; and with the coming of foreigners, I guarantee that our deaths are now going to be televised, documented and no longer seen as lies and propaganda by mischievously insular politicians and their polarized supporters. We must now begin to seek for ways to end the hashtags, for every day is an unbearable torture for our sisters and daughters in captivity. Hashtags don’t cure; they don’t even prevent. They only inform. And that has already been achieved.

May God save us from us!

Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)