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‘No more excuses’ — BBOG says Chibok girls’ release must be prioritised

‘No more excuses’ — BBOG says Chibok girls’ release must be prioritised
April 18
09:14 2021

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement has asked the federal government to shun excuses and intensify efforts to ensure the release of the Chibok girls still in captivity.

The group renewed its demand during a sit-out in the Ikoyi area of Lagos on Saturday.

On April 14, 2014, schoolgirls numbering 276 were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

A total of 164 abducted students have either escaped, been released or found — while 112 girls still remain in the custody of the insurgents.

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At the sit-out, the group said the release of the remaining schoolgirls should be considered a priority.

Speaking with TheCable, Habibah Balogun, coordinator of the BBOG campaign in Lagos, said the group is committed to sustaining its demands until the girls are released.

BBOG members at the sit-out

BBOG members at the sit-out

“We need Nigerians to see that it is possible to sustain. We must not just give up like this. So we need to keep pestering the government and to keep holding them accountable,” she said.

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“I think government has learnt from the Chibok abduction that is why now, you get an immediate response. During the Chibok abduction, there was three weeks delay where they were asking if it is politically motivated or not.

“It doesn’t matter what the motivation is, either it is political or criminal, these are innocent children, they have parents and their parents are not involved. So I think every government has learnt a lesson from the Chibok girls that when something happens in schools, you should respond immediately.

“Kidnapping has happened in other countries before, what did they do? These are the things the government needs to find out to stop criminally motivated kidnappings and we have to stop it, especially kidnapping for money, because it is getting out of control.”

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BBOG had earlier raised the alarm that over 20 parents of the Chibok girls have died from health complications induced by the protracted wait for the return of their children.

Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, recently reassured the parents of the Chibok girls that the government is keen on ensuring their safe return.

The presidency also said efforts are still in the works to rescue them.

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