Former Minister of education, Obiageli Ezekwesili has slammed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and his predecessor former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government over their failure to rescue the Chibok school girls who were abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents.
While reacting to the new Boko Haram video on Channels TV, she said the government is in the best position to have sufficient information to carry out a rescue operation.
She said: “All we ever get to see are undulating waves of commitment of rescuing this girl, which often ends as soon as the news concerning them goes off the screen. That is not acceptable.
“On the 14th of April, there was a proof of life video from CNN. We said to the FG that the video is the closest to credible intelligence that could be used but nothing came out of it. On the 18th of May, we saw the retrieval of Amina Ali Nkeki, and we are aware that she provided a lot of information to the FG but all that followed was inertia,” she said.
“I read the statement that was released by the FG and I wonder how a government could release that kind of statement, after seeing these girls in that video. I can’t believe that two years and four months after young women who went to school were taken away, we are still navel-gazing. This is not Nigeria.
“The government, as we have consistently said, is the institution with the best set of information to be able to make credible decisions. The fact is that when you want to assess action, you have to look at derivative activities that may conceptualize the level of engagement.
“The previous government prevaricated on the matter of our girls… were so tentative that the matter festered and these girls were left to be tormented by savages.”
She also said that the inter-agency squabbling had been preventing the existence of a clear approach in rescuing the abducted girls.
She however enjoined the authorities not to make the girls abduction less than a priority simply because their parents are not among the nation’s elites.
“I think the government needs to be coherent in its response to these girls. There is an inter-agency squabbling that must be going on as to what direction to follow in respect to the rescue of Chibok girls.
“At the end of the day, people say ‘we are committed’. We don’t doubt the expression of commitment but the real commitment shows up in the sustained focus oriented approach that also takes into consideration that Chibok parents are dignified Nigerians.
“Being poor should not rob you of your dignity. The way these parents have been treated by two successive governments really makes me mad. It should not be so in a country like Nigeria.
“Most of us came from poverty. The fact that the Chibok parents do not have the wherewithal to become political elites should not lead to their children being less than a priority.
“The government has to make a decision. We can’t have 218 young women still missing for two years and occasionally their news will jolt all of us into saying something and then we all go back to our lives.”