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Advocacy group knocks presidency on abducted Chibok girls

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Leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, Oby Ezekwesili (right) and others at the main entrance to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, Oby Ezekwesili (right) and others at the main entrance to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

• Govt not tackling root of insurgency, warns UN chief
• DSS arrests Boko Haram leader

Abuja-based #Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group staged a march to the Aso Rock Villa, yesterday, calling on the presidency to do more to secure release of the abducted Chibok girls.

Led by Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili, the group said: “President Muhammadu Buhari cannot anymore be unclear on what decision to make on the option to pursue for their rescue. We reject the recurrent excuses by the President that the Federal Government does not know which faction of the splintered terrorist group it should engage in negotiations. Our Federal Government must never again sound incapable of intelligence and negotiation expertise.”

It called for a swift and firm decision on immediate rescue of the schoolgirls, suggesting military operation, negotiation with Boko Haram or a combination of both.

Security operatives from the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) fended off the marchers. The group, however, went ahead to read its statement.

There was an exchange of words between Ezekwesili and Chief Superintendent of Police, Chuks Obasi, who insisted: “I have my mandate, and my mandate is to ensure that a protest march does not assume a violent dimension.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Toby Lanzer, has warned that Nigerian authorities and regional players may be chasing shadows in the fight against insurgency unless poverty is tackled.

Lanzer, during a media briefing following his visit to Bama, Borno State, regretted: “We are not addressing the root of this crisis. It is not something you put on the shoulders of humanitarians but towards the eradication of poverty.”

This comes as the Department of State Services (DSS) said it arrested 23 suspects for various criminal offences, including a Boko Haram spiritual leader.

Spokesman of the Service, Tony Opuiyo, in a statement, yesterday, said the leader of the sect, Mudaisiru Jibrin (aka Namakele/Alarama), was arrested last month in Kano.


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