Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says the remaining 113 abducted Chibok schoolgirls will soon be released.
He stated this while addressing members of theBring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy group who had embarked on a peaceful march to theAso Rock Presidential Villa on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.
Represented by Babafemi Ojudu, special assistant to the president on political matters, the Acting President reassured the group that the federal government would not rest its oars until the remaining girls are released.
The BBOG group also demanded full disclosure of the abducted female police officers abducted on their way to a colleague’s burial as well as lecturers from the University of Maiduguri.
His words: “I have been asked by the acting president to assure you of the support of the government concerning your agitation for the return of all the girls that were kidnapped by members of Boko Haram.
“And the fact that we are not coming out to say what is being done is strategic and also for security reasons. He also said I should tell you that very soon, more of the girls – if not all of them – will be brought back home.
On the issue of the policewomen that are being held and even concerning the girls, on a daily basis, the acting president has been meeting with security chiefs and making contacts with negotiators across the world who have helped in the past to secure those that have been released.
“He (Osinbajo) said he is fully with you, that he is recognizing what you are doing and he is hearing you loud and clear.
“So we have not at any point forgotten these children who could be any of our children. The acting president has asked me to reassure you this afternoon, to tell you that he is with you and that your cries are his cries,” he added.
Speaking at the event, BBOG convener, Oby Ezekwesili expressed displeasure over government’s inability to secure the return of the remaining 133 Chibok girls and other abductees since their abduction.
“We were of the conviction that the government, which managed to secure the release of 82 of them will also secure the release of the remaining 113,” she said.
“We thought that the government has figured a way to get back our girls so we estimated that the remaining 113 will return in lesser time it took the 82 to come home.
“We also took on the matter of the policewomen that were abducted on their way to a burial event. Concerning the police women, we are saddened by the fact that it is a complete replay of what happened when our Chibok girls were abducted.
“Our Chibok girls were never acknowledged as ever abducted. It was the advocacy of our movement that forced the government to acknowledge that any citizen was missing. Is it not painful that three years after, we repeat exactly the same pattern?
“How can police officials who put their lives on the line be abducted by the enemy and the government refuses to acknowledge this?
“There have been all kinds of lies, falsehoods, denials and partials agreements that abduction happened. At what time is the federal government – led by the president – going to address Nigerians on the fate of the police women,” she asked.
Ezekwesili, however, noted that the group would continue to hold the government to its words on securing the safe return of the Chibok girls and other Boko Haram abductees.