Members of the British House of Commons, the United Kingdom, have said that time is running out on the need to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.
They said on Thursday at a debate on the plight of the missing schoolgirls, that decisive action needed to be taken to secure the release of the girls, reiterating their “pledge” not to forget about the girls or those campaigning to highlight their plight.
At the meeting held at Westminster Hall, the lawmakers, some of whom had earlier visited Nigeria, therefore called on the British government and governments of other countries to increase their funding of efforts to free the abducted girls.
A member, Mrs. Helen Grant, said, “We need governments and agencies around the world to share credible intelligence and all the latest eye-in-the-sky technologies to find these girls and to bring them back home. Time is running out. Every single day, there is more suffering. Decisive action is needed now, and terrorism cannot be allowed to succeed.
Another member, Dr. Lisa Cameron, urged the Prime Minister to keep the girls at the “forefront of our minds.”
Cameron noted that pressure from international governments to secure the release of the girls appeared to have dissipated over time. He said the pressure must be resurrected to give hope to the Chibok girls and to girls across Nigeria and the developing world.
Stephen Twigg, on his part, said apart from counter-terrorism support and advice on hostage negotiation and victim support capabilities for Nigeria, the UK had invested about £5m in supporting the multinational joint taskforce set up by Nigeria and its neighbours to combat Boko Haram insurgency, noting that the UK government, and those of the United States, France, China and Israel had all contributed significant military and economic resources to support efforts aimed at rescuing the girls.
Twigg, however, called for more funding from the UK government and other countries.
He said, “The United Nations appeal for Nigeria is not fully funded and we urge the governments to do all they can to ensure that the appeal is funded, including by other countries. At the world humanitarian summit in Turkey in May, commitments were made to address education in emergencies.
“We think it is crucial for the UK government and for the Department for International Development, in particular, to use their resources and influence on other donors to ensure that the “Education Cannot Wait” fund is properly supported and quickly operationalised so that interruptions to education caused by conflict are minimised to no more than 30 days.”