On April 13, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari told parents of the Chibok girls that he “has still not forgotten their daughters who were kidnapped from their dormitory five years ago” on April 14, 2014, in Borno state.
Since then, calls have been multiplying for Mr Buhari, who promised to free them and defeat Boko Haram terrorists who kidnapped them, to live up to his campaign promises and secure their release.
While some girls were freed by Boko Haram leaders, many remain missing till date and there are growing reports that some of the girls were turned into sex slaves or sold in West African markets.
On Saturday, an anti-corruption organization, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, called on the Buhari government to leave no stone unturned in securing the release of the Chibok girls, including Leah Sharibu and many others, still in the captivity of the Boko Haram insurgents.
In a release, issued by the Centre’s Assistant Media and Publications Officer, Kojeku Adebodun, on behalf of the Centre’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, CACOL said the girls have not been secured completely “because of the lack of adequate will to explore all necessary processes required to bring back the girls”.
“There is inadequate intelligence, commitment and funding of those cognate forces required to achieve the feat,” the organization said.
“All of these observed inadequacies combine to elongate the confinement of these hapless ladies (since they could no longer be referenced as girls, no more, because if they had been allowed fertile access to their education, many of them would have completed their service year now, as they were preparing for their final West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) during their abduction some five years ago). It is therefore appropriate to imply that some of them would have finished their University education and 1 year compulsory service to their nation, had the situation been different”.
“Though, successive governments have been paying lip service as much as efforts to bring the girls back is concerned, their parents and generality of Nigerians need to be constantly kept abreast of proof of life for as many as still possible amongst them, their location, and whatever fate has befallen them, from time to time. This is the only acceptable response of a deserving government. This much would not have been difficult, if there had been an effective intelligence and cooperative endeavor with neighboring countries, like Chad, Cameroon, Niger and any other places, where these insurgents have made their focus of activities. In essence, the Federal Government has to demonstrate greater political will and put in more workable strategies and effective cooperative endeavours, with neighboring countries to achieve tangible outcomes that should be patently evident.”
Adeniran added: “Talking about Leah Sharibu, it is just not enough for the government to keep on reassuring Nigerians that Leah is alive and well, but that extra efforts must be made to secure her release, in view of the fact that those abducted simultaneously with her had since regained their freedom on the intervention of the state while she is still in captivity due to her conscientious objection as an avowed adherent of her religious conviction. We therefore, advise that, the Buhari-led administration should take a step further, by stamping its foot in the sands of time through a complete overhaul of the security architecture of Nigeria in a way that reinforces the sacredness of lives and properties of all Nigerians and make provisions of their social welfare a thing of primary concern to the government rather than illicit accumulation of commonwealth by those entrusted with power.”