– Members of the Chibok community have crticised Obasanjo for saying the abducted girls will not return
– The group believes the girls are still alive
– The community hopes they will be found soon
Members of the Chibok community whose girls were abducted by Boko Haram members have condemned Olusegun Obasanjo over comments he made that the girls cannot be rescued.
The former president who was responding to questions at a programme organized by the Staff Club of the Obafemi Awolowo University said the girls who were abducted from their hostels on April 14, 2014 could not be rescued anymore. Obasanjo said the chances of rescuing the girls dropped after 72 hours.
Obasanjo had said: “Seventy-two hours after the Chibok girls were adopted was too late for their rescue, talk less of getting to two years by April this year. So if any leader is promising to bring back Chibok girls now, he is lying.”
President Muhammadu Buhari promised during his inauguration that he would secure the girls’ return.
Leadership reports that a Chibok leader who spoke on behalf of the community said the former president was entitled to his opinion. He said the girls were alive as they were the only bargain the terrorists had. He said since no report had been made available concerning their state, it was very likely they were kept somewhere.
The community leader said: “Obasanjo is a respected former president and retired military officer who may have his reasons for making such statement but, to us, he is entitled to his opinion, because we still believe the girls are alive and can be rescued.
“Our hope lies on the fact that since their abduction, none of them has been found dead or alive; and that, to us, is a good sign that they are alive. We would have been worried had there been any form of report that some of the girls were found dead, or some have been rescued during the rescue operations that were carried out recently.
“Going by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the last four years, one would be deceiving himself to say that they are not an intelligent lot. They know the high premium the world has placed on the need to rescue the girls; so the schoolgirls may be their priced asset for bargain when push comes to shove. We don’t know where they are, but we believe our girls are kept somewhere, either within or outside the country. And our prayer is that, one day, we may see them, even though we are not ruling out the fact that it is a difficult task and all of them may not be rescued at the end of the day.”
Meanwhile, Hajiya Aishatu, one of the victims of the deadly Boko Haram sect, issued a stern warning to the federal government concerning the missing Chibok girls. She accused the government of not doing enough to bring the girls back.