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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Fed Govt to BBOG:Stick to your advocacy role and stop grandstanding on Chibok girlS

The Federal Government has advised the BringBackOurGirls Group (BBOG) to see the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as a partner rather than an adversary in the group’s quest to secure release of the Chibok girls.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said it amounted to needless grandstanding for the BBOG to say it would no longer tolerate “delays” and “excuses” from the President on release of the girls.

He added that the BBOG’s continued portrayal of the government as an adversary and the needless firing of darts at the “President, who is doing his utmost best to bring the girls back home safely, are ultimately counter-productive”.
The statement said: ‘’The Federal Government has bent over backwards to carry the BBOG along and to show transparency in the conduct of the search for the girls. The recent invitation extended to the group to witness first-hand the search for the girls by the Nigerian Air Force is a clear indication of this.
‘’However, it came to us as a surprise that in spite of its initial positive report on the tour, the BBOG has too quickly reverted to its adversarial role. BBOG should stick to its role as an advocacy group rather than pretending to be an opposition party. The synonyms of the word ‘advocacy’ do not include ‘antagonism’, ‘opposition’ or ‘attack’.
“In fact, those words are the antonyms of advocacy,” he said.
Mohammed said the needless grandstanding by the BBOG and its use of impudent language should have been reserved for those, who did nothing in the first 500 days of the girls’ abduction, “not for a President who has presided over the liberation of all captured territory, the opening of shuts schools and roads, the safe release of some of the abducted girls and the decimation of Boko Haram”.
He assured Nigerians that the efforts to bring the girls back safely were continuing, but sought their understanding for not divulging any further details so as not to jeopardise the intricate process.
‘’Let me say unequivocally that the people involved in the negotiations are working 24/7. The negotiations are complicated, tortuous and delicate. Any wrong signal is capable of derailing things. That’s why the less we say about the talks, the better it is for all.
‘’We need a huge amount of confidence-building, the kind of which led to the release of the 21 of the girls. This has been lacking for years, but right now we are confident that we are on the right track.
“We won’t do anything to jeopardise these talks, irrespective of the pressure or provocation from any quarter,” the minister said.

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