Tag Archives: Chief of Army staff

Nigerian govt replies BringBackOurGirls on Sambisa tour

The Federal Government has rejected the conditions given by the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, group for joining a day search sorties for missing Chibok girls to Sambisa Forest.

In a letter addressed to the convener of the group, Obiageli Ezekwesili, which was made available to the media on Sunday, the government said it was unable to postpone the trip as scheduled.

The letter dated January 14 was signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

“Thank you for your letter, dated Jan. 13, which is in response to ours of Jan. 11, requesting that we change the date of the proposed guided tour of the North-East to accommodate a Pre-Tour Meeting between your organisation and some top officials of the Federal Government.

“We have also noted the conditions you gave for embarking on the trip which include the said Pre-Tour Meeting and the retraction of some remarks allegedly made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. – Gen. Tukur Buratai, which the #BBOG finds to be slanderous.

“We regret, however, to inform you that we are unable to postpone the trip as scheduled.”

The government insisted the team would proceed on the trip on Monday as scheduled because of the narrow window available to have a good weather on the day.

It said that payment for the satellite downlink streaming of the mission had been made for the day and shifting the date will require another round of booking to secure such a slot.

 

The government added that apart from the BBOG members, local and international journalists had been invited for the trip, while some preparations had been made by the Nigerian military.

It noted that the remarks purportedly made by the Chief of Army Staff and the request for a meeting with its certain top officials were irrelevant to its request for the BBOG to join in the search mission.

The government stressed that it extended the invitation to the BBOG in recognition of the group’s commitment to the safe release of the Chibok girls in captivity and interest in the welfare of those who had been released.

“We hope that the BBOG will drop its conditions and join the trip which shows the commitment of the Federal Government to securing freedom for the Chibok girls and its transparency in handling the issues of the girls.

The government had in a letter of January 11, invited members of BBOG to a short trip in a military operational flight into Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.

In the letter, the government asked the BBOG to nominate three of its members to join on the guided trip out of which two would join the sorties due to limited seats on the search plane.

The government had stated that the trip would avail the BBOG the opportunity to witness and better understand the efforts being made to secure the freedom of the girls and other victims of Book Haram terrorists.

The BBOG had in its reply to the invitation letter requested the government to meet certain conditions before the tour and also demanded for a change in the scheduled date.

Specifically, the group requested a Pre-Tour Meeting with some officials of government and a retraction of some remarks allegedly made by the Chief of Army Staff, which it alleged are defamatory.

Source: premium times ng

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BBOG Group Gives Conditions For Joining Military On Sambisa Tour

The #BringBackOurGirls group has outlined a set of conditions to be met by the Nigerian government before accepting its invitation for a trip into Sambisa forest. The government had asked Oby Ezekwesili, the convener of the advocacy group, to nominate three of their members to join the military on a guided trip into Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.


by Ben Ezeamalu


The #BringBackOurGirls group has outlined a set of conditions to be met by the Nigerian government before accepting its invitation for a trip into Sambisa forest.

The government had asked Oby Ezekwesili, the convener of the advocacy group, to nominate three of their members to join the military on a guided trip into Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.

In a letter dated January 11th and signed by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, the government said the trip would avail the BBOG group the opportunity to witness and better understand the efforts being made to secure the freedom of the abducted girls.

The letter said the trip, planned by the military, would see invited BBOG members and a select group of journalists joining the ministers of defence and information, the Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Army Staff for the tour.

“They will first go to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Command Centre in Yola to witness firsthand the efforts being made to search for the girls by NAF and then join the day and night sorties with the BAF to the Sambisa Forest,” the letter said.

Responding to the invitation, the BBOG group said its members unanimously agreed that they were open to exploring the opportunity.

“We had an emergency meeting of our Movement to discuss your invitation to embark on a ‘guided tour’ of the Nigerian Air Force Command (Yola) and Sambisa Forest with officials of the government,” the group stated in their letter dated January 13th and signed by Mrs. Ezekwesili.

“However, before proceeding with further discussion on the proposed visit, we propose a pre-tour meeting to discuss pertinent issues that will help inform our decision to proceed.

“We believe that this prior meeting would help provide first-hand knowledge of, and answers to questions that our movement wishes to raise ahead of the guided visit.”

The group proposed that participants at the meeting include the National Security Adviser, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Army Staff, and the Chief of Air Force.

The group accused the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, of endorsing a statement by “a certain group” visiting him which described the BBOG movement as engaging in “social media terrorism”.

“It is puzzling that the reported said visit happened less than 48 hours before our Movement received your letter asking us to travel in the company of the same Chief of Army Staff to Sambisa Forest,” the group stated.

“We demand therefore that ahead of the pre-tour meeting we have proposed herein, that the Chief of Army Staff retracts and apologizes for endorsing such slanderous attacks against our Movement #BringBackOurGirls and specifically at some of our leaders.

“Such a step would communicate that it is with goodwill that the Federal Government is asking us to entertain the visit proposed in your letter.”

More than 200 girls were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, in April 2014 by Boko Haram insurgents.

For nearly three years, the BBOG group has sustained itd advocacy for the safe return of the girls to their families.