Members of the #BringBackOurGirls (#BBOG) advocacy have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take disciplinary action against the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and two officers for violating their individual and collective rights.
BBOG accused the IGP of falsely declaring their peaceful advocacy as a “security threat” that “must not trample on other peoples’ rights through over-dramatisation of emotions, self-serving propaganda and disrespect of public (office) holders”.
They also accused the IGP of attempting to cause disaffection between the group and fellow Nigerians without any evidence to back his claims.
BBOG made the demands yesterday at a news conference in Abuja. A member of the group, Veronica Bakam, read the statement signed by leaders of the group, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu.
The group demanded that IGP Idris tender an unreserved apology to them for orchestrating a hate campaign and disseminating false information against them, with the intention of tarnishing the reputation of their movement.
The statement reads: “Following a week of zero communication and inaction by the President, our movement embarked on a series of strategic engagements to compel decisive action to BringBackOurGirls. Top on this was the communication of a list of six demands and a commitment to re-engage the President through a protest march to the State House after every three working days.
“The demands were:
That the President swiftly made a firm decision for the immediate rescue of our girls based on the three available options. 1. Military operation. 2. Negotiation with the terrorists. 3. Combination of 1 and 2. With the information available, the President must pursue the lowest risk option of these three.
“• That the President addressed Nigerians on his Rescue Plan and Timelines of our #ChibokGirls TODAY.
“• That the President constituted a #ChibokGirls Rescue Operation Monitoring Team, made up of representatives of the Federal Government, parents of Chibok Girls, KADA community and #BringBackOurGirls. This multi-stakeholders’ platform acts as a transparent mechanism for feedback on evidence of Mr. President’s sustained action towards bringing back our ChibokGirls.
“• That the President immediately presides over National Emergency in the Northeast Conference to articulate a cohesive response plan to the Humanitarian Crisis and designate a “Special Envoy” responsible for the inter-agency collaborative work required, as well as mobilise the private sector, Nigerian public, and the International Community.
“• That the President directed the Attorney General and EFCC to set up Special Desk with the responsibility for fast-tracking trials of the Arms Procurement Fund and providing regular updates. We rejected any suspension or termination of any of the trials without reaching a legal conclusion.
“• That the Chief Justice of the Federation prioritised the trials of all Counter-Insurgency related corruption cases. Cases should be placed on fast-track with no long adjournments.
“In addition, we mobilised support for rescue efforts through engagements with embassies of the United Kingdom, France, Canada and the United States as well as European Union and Economic Community of West African States. Thesem, we believed, were necessary allies of our government due to the wealth of resources to be gained from sharing knowledge assets, security and intelligence infrastructure, as well as relevant experience.
“While engagements with the diplomatic community were completely successful, our democratically elected President refused to grant us an audience. Despite three blockades at the access road to the State House, by the Nigeria Police, our resolve to communicate our demands never waivered.
“Our reputation as a well-organised and disciplined citizens’ movement that strictly respects the constitution and the laws of the land was built over the last nearly 30 months of our advocacy for the abducted school girls.
“Sadly, on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command displayed an unacceptable level of intolerance and blatant disregard for our constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of thought, conscience, association, peaceful assembly and movement. By unleashing a detachment of over a 100 anti-riot policemen on our civil movement and going further to attempt several cordons against our fourth march of the series, the Police ignored a judgement of a Federal High Court.
“Furthermore, by falsely declaring our peaceful advocacy as a “security threat”, whose activities “must not trample on other peoples’ rights through over-dramatisation of emotions, self-serving propaganda and disrespect of public (office) holders”, the Inspector General of Police deliberately attempted to pitch us against fellow Nigerians without any evidence to back those claims.
“In addition, we consider it injurious to our carefully built reputation as a global movement known for order, decency, civility, and discipline, whose model is often recommended by some of the world’s top-rated publications and researched by students of the world’s top universities at doctoral and post-doctoral levels.”