Bring Back Our Girls, (BBOG), an advocacy group championing the cause of the release of the abducted Chibok school girls has expressed its suspicion at the invitation extended to the group by the Federal Government on a trip to Sambisa Forest in search of the remaining missing school girls.
The Federal Government had written a letter of invitation requesting representatives of the group to be part of a military operational flight to Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.
The invitation letter was dated January 11, and signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and addressed to the convener of the group, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili.
The letter, which was made available to journalists yesterday, asked the BBOG to nominate three members of the group to be part of a guided trip scheduled for January 16, in recognition of what it described as the unwavering commitment of the group to the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls.
According to the letter, “The trip being planned by the military will see the Ministers of Defence and Information, the Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Army Staff joining the invited BBOG members and a select group of journalists.
“They will first go to the Nigerian Air Force 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.
“Please note that due to limited seats on the search plane, only two of the invited BBOG members will join the NAF sorties. After the sorties, the team will return to Yola for bidding by the NAF on their daily search for the girls as well as all those who have been abducted by Boko Haram.
“Departure is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at the Air Force wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday the January 17, 2017,” the letter reads in part.
The government 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 Boko Haram terrorists.
However, the group in its reply dated January 13, raised suspicion on the urgency of the trip at very short notice and the fact that the Chief of Army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, had only few days ago accused the group of engaging in “social advocacy terrorism”.
The group’s letter signed by Oby Ezewkesili, said the federal government owned News Agency of Nigeria widely reported through the mass media that during a visit to the army headquarters by a certain group which was received by the Chief of Army Staff, our movement was attacked for engaging in social advocacy terrorism. It is puzzling that the said visit happened less than forty eight 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 said: “We demand therefore that ahead of the pre-tour meeting, the Chief of Army Staff retracts and apologises for endorsing such slanderous attacks against our movement,” It read. (
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