Until the combined team of the Federal Government and the conveners of #BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, board the military aircraft and touch down in Yola en route Sambisa forest, there is no telling whether the planned tour would take place as uncertainty trails the initial unconditional agreement between the FG and the group.
The reason is that the coordinator of the tour, the Federal Ministry of Information rejected the conditions stated by the BBOG for the tour even though the group in and unclear reply that showed it was hedging on its earlier stand.
Shortly before a scheduled pre-tour meeting last week between the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaj Lai Mohammed, the BBOG team led by Mrs Oby Ezekwesili and the in Army led by Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Col Yusuf Buratai, the BBOG tabled a demand that the government rejected.
According to the group: “We demand, therefore, that ahead of the pre-tour meeting we have proposed herein, that the Chief of Army Staff retracts and apologises for endorsing such slanderous attacks against our movement, #BringBackOurGirls, and, specifically, at some of our leaders. Such a step would communicate that it is with goodwill that the federal government is asking us to entertain the visit proposed in your letter.”
The Army Chief was said by the BBOG team to have received an alleged antagonistic group, during which the term “social advocacy terrorism” was used in describing its activities.
“It is puzzling that the said visit happened less than 48 hours before our movement received your letter asking us to travel in the company of the same Chief of Army Staff to Sambisa Forest.”
Mohammed had brushed aside the group’s demand, insisting that it was irrelevant to the planned tour which would address the BBOG’ core interest, which the release and safe return of the kidnapped Chibok girls by Boko Haram. Harping on the FG’s readiness to meet the group’s other interests such as live satellite streaming of the tour and the disclosure of the media team invited for the event, the Minister said the date can neither be shifted and the programmed altered.
Still, by yesterday, events had moved a t a fast pace showing that the BBOG had grudgingly accepted the offer.
Segun Adeyemi, an aide to Mohammed said in a statement that the BBOG group had accepted the FG offer:
Please find below the details of the latest communication between the
FG and the #BBOG
1. LETTER FROM #BBOG Co-Convener Oby Ezekwesili to the FG at 8.20 P.M.
From: Oby Ezekwesili
Date: 15 January 2017 at 8:20:43 PM WAT
To: Hon Minister Info Cul
Subject: Re: #BBOG LETTER
Thanks Minister Mohammed for your letter of the 14th January in
response to ours. Can you please quickly provide us more details of the tour duration and detailed logistics including the names of the local and
international media on the delegation.
We need those information to enable us send you a more substantial letter conveying our acceptance to join the “Guided Tour”.
Many thanks for your invitation.
- RESPONSE FROM THE FG TO #BBOG
Dear Mrs Ezekwesili,
Thank you for your letter which I received via email this Sunday evening, at 8:20 pm, seeking more details on the planned trip to the
Let me also express how glad I am that #BBOG is willing to reconsider its decision not to join us on the trip The trip will last two days, starting on Monday, 16 Jan. 2017.
Concerning the logistics, the team will be ferried to Yola by the Nigerian Air Force, from where a select group will join the NAF search mission to Sambisa.
There was no further letter to state whether the BBOG had accepted the new, additional information sought from the Ministry, indicating an uncertainty.