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Freed Dapchi girls: We’ll interrogate circumstance of return ―BBOG

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DapchiFOLLOWING the release of most of the abducted 110 Dapchi girls, taken away by the Boko Haram insurgents in February, the Bring Back Our Girls BBOG movement on Wednesday, vowed to interrogate the circumstances surrounding their return.

Although the Federal Government (FG) has continued to release conflicting figures of the number of girls freed, the group said their return was a welcomed development.

The group stated this in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Mr Sesugh Akume on the return of the girls.

“The #BringBackOurGirls movement has been made aware of the cheering news of the return of our missing #DapchiGirls. Our movement has confirmed this to be true and the accurate position of things.

“Reports say that 5 of them may have passed on, and 1 is still held back. This we are not yet able to fully verify.

“Our immense pleasure at the return of most of our #DapchiGirls on this 30th day of their captivity notwithstanding, the 14 questions we posed to the Government of Nigeria still stand, as well as our notice to commence legal action.

“The circumstances of this return shall also be interrogated.

“We shall be communicating further as we gain more clarity on what transpired and what is going on,” the statement reads.

However, it maintained that the initial 14 questions posed to the FG as well as its notice to commence legal action on the abduction of school girls in the Northeast still stands.

BBOG had last week, issued a 14 question statement, querying the state of security during and after the abductions were carried out.

The statement reads in part: “How was a terrorist group that the Federal Government has, over the last one year, and in fact only last week, informed the Nigerian Public “it has completely defeated,” still able to successfully launch an attack and abduct 110 schoolgirls in their school without any counteraction by the Nigeria military? How? How? What happened to Early Warning Signal System as part of security architecture for areas like Dapchi in the theatre of war? We ask for #TheTruthAndNothingButTheTruth.

“How could a school in northeast Nigeria, located in one of the three most terrorism-affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa – be so negligently abandoned without any form of security and surveillance and left vulnerable to the attack of February 19, 2018?

What happened to the Safe School Initiative that was signed on by the federal government in 2014 and to which it committed $10 million alongside other donations by the several donors, including the international community?

“Why was there at first a denial of the abduction of our #DapchiGirls by officials of government?

Where and how did the falsehood that no abduction took place at the time of the attack originate thereby leaving enough time for the abductors to succeed in disappearing with 110 school girls? Why did this deliberate attempt at a cover-up of a humongous tragedy happen at all?

“Following on 3 above, what was the basis and source of the false information to parents and the public that about half of our 110 #DapchiGirls had been rescued and in military custody when the government knew it to be a lie?

“Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, is only 110km from Dapchi; so we wonder why the governor, Ibrahim Geidam, failed to immediately travel to Dapchi for accurate information on the tragedy that occurred at the school. What prevented the Federal Government military and security teams within Dapchi area from acting swiftly?

“On what basis, and at whose instruction, was the Military withdrawn from Dapchi, and to whom did they hand over? Where is the evidence of a handover and to which equivalent force was the responsibility given?”

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The group further wondered how the terrorists successfully operated for hours without any reprisal saying.

“How was it that the terrorists carried out their activity for hours unchallenged by forces of the federal government? Can we not assume a connivance between the abductors and all those in the military and security command with responsibilities for the Dapchi, Yobe state area?

“How was it that 110 children were transported in a convoy of vehicles for more than twenty-four hours over a distance of hundreds of kilometres without their abductors encountering any Nigerian Military or police security roadblocks?

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“Why was there no air surveillance by the Nigeria Air Force which is still at the battlefront? If any, how did the Nigerian Air Force fail to track the movement of the terrorist motorcade as they made away with our schoolgirls?What happened to the recently commissioned Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs) said to have been procured for such tracking purpose? What happened to our Intelligence assets satellite links and military aircraft that were procured to prevent and abort such scale of elaborate attack by terrorists?

“Does the federal government fail to see how underwhelming its recent announcement of a committee to interrogate the Dapchi abduction is so much so that it only elicited tired yawns among members of the Nigerian public?

What is the worth of a committee of members of security establishments that failed to prevent the operation that led to the abduction of our DapchiGirls?

“Why is another committee necessary when the federal government has blatantly refused to publish or act on the reports of previous committees like the June 2014 General M. Sabo Presidential Committee on Abduction of ChibokGirls?What happened to the committee announced on 14 January 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari to again look into the abduction of our #ChibokGirls? Has that Committee ever met? What were its findings?

“Where is evidence of what constitutes a results-focused and sustained search and rescue operation by the federal government? Did the federal government not learn at all from the failures of its response to ChibokGirls abduction?

Is there currently a multinational sustained search and rescue operation launched for our DapchiGirls by the federal government or will that wait until after the anodyne committee it set up submits a report of its findings? Have the federal government constituted a crack team to find and bring back our 112 ChibokGirls and their 110 DapchiGirls peers?

Has the federal government sought the support of countries with superior intelligence and rescue assets?

Again we ask, what should any reasonable person expect from the painfully familiar bureaucratic committee of the federal government of Nigeria that appears to be the only tangible measure the government has so far taken concerning DapchiGirls?”

The post Freed Dapchi girls: We’ll interrogate circumstance of return ―BBOG appeared first on Tribune.

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