Leaders of Chibok community have asked that the schoolgirls refusing to come home should be forced out of Boko Haram’s enclave
The leaders made their stance known under the aegis of Kibaku Area Development Association
They faulted a negotiator, Zannah Mustapha, for saying that some abducted schoolgirls refused to be part of a group of 82 girls freed at the weekend
Leaders of Chibok community have asked that the schoolgirls refusing to come home should be forced out of Boko Haram’s enclave.
We gathered that the leaders made their stance known under the aegis of Kibaku Area Development Association.
The chairman, Chibok community in Abuja, Mr Hosea Tsambido, told journalists in Abuja, on Tuesday, May 9 that the attitude of the federal government was not only suspicious but was not in tandem with how the government handled the rescue of the 21 schoolgirls in October last year.
Tsambido said the community would never accept such a claim because the government could use it as an excuse to give up on the rescue of the other girls.
His words: “The most disheartening and annoying thing is the statement credited to one of the negotiators who said some of the girls refused to come out. We don’t want to hear that, even if the girls don’t want to come out, it is not for him to advertise.
“The girls must come out, whether they like it or not; they should force them out, just as they were forced in, they should be forced out. As their mind was changed by Boko Haram, when they return to us, we will change their mind back.”
He also decried the fact that Chibok leaders, resident in Abuja, were denied access to the girls, but said some politicians from Borno state were allowed to see them.
His words: “We have still not been contacted; parents have still not been contacted. All I was told is that some people from Chibok, two district heads and the former and present chairmen of the local government area, came to Abuja and were allowed access to the girls.’’
He continued: “I started comparing the list with the one that I have and I have seen a good number of the names that matched the list I have, so I believe that they are the Chibok girls.”
Similarly, the Bring Back Our Girls group (BBOG) said it had begun the verification of the identities of the rescued girls.
“Our movement has begun the elementary process of verification and authentication of the identities of our released 82 Chibok girls based on the list in the public domain (this list alone does not suffice for our process). We shall communicate our full report to the public soon.
“We urge the federal government to use the verification, authentication, and reunification system in confirming the identities of our returned girls.
“We also urge the federal government to quickly liaise with parents of our Chibok girls and the Kibaku Area Development Association i.e. the Chibok community as was done in the four previous times our girls returned,” the group said in a statement.
Meanwhile, we learnt that the federal government swapped five Boko Haram militants for the 82 Chibok schoolgirls recently released, contrary to some media reports that just two Boko Haram commanders were released in the swap deal.
According to negtiator of the swap deal, the outcome should be seen as “a favourable bargain,” considering what obtained in other climes when it comes to prisoner swap of innocent citizens with suspected terrorists.