Reports have it that the last week meeting between the purported parents of the abducted Chibok girls and Pakistani girls’ education campaigner , Yousafzai Malala in Abuja. was stage managed by the #BringBackOurGirls’s campaigners led by a former minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili.
The actual parents of schoolgirls who were kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State on April 14 this year did not attend the meeting, according to reports from Nigeria Pilot.
Security operatives, who spoke on the chain of events leading to the aborted meeting of the parents and escapee girls with President Goodluck Jonathan last Tuesday, declared that the organisers of the meeting with Malala knew that they had questions to answer over the “parents” of the girls they paraded in Abuja.
They said this accounted for the evasion of the “parents” meetings with President Jonathan and other Federal Government officials.
The sources said that even the so-called parents of the escapee girls from Boko Haram’s den knew that they would run into trouble hence they avoided meeting with the President.
The operatives also queried motives of the leading members of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign who influenced the abortion of the meeting which could have helped in the rehabilitation of some of the girls.
It would be recalled that after a meeting with Malala at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan agreed to meet with parents of the abducted girls and some of the female students who allegedly escaped from the insurgents’ camp.
The meeting could not hold as neither the parents nor the escapee girls honoured the invitation, forcing its cancellation by the Presidency; a situation that raised suspicions that the parents and girls being paraded by the campaigners might not be the real victims.
It was gathered that Malala was so heartbroken when she learnt that the meeting was aborted by the group. According to our sources, shortly before Malala departed, she met with Ezekwesili for close to 40minutes and tried to convince her on the need for the girls and the parents to meet with President Jonathan.
The source said: “For about 40 minutes, Malala argued with Ezekwesili but the former education minister insisted there was no need for it. Malala nearly missed her flight on Air France. The flight had to be delayed. When she could not convince her, she asked the Director of Administration of her Foundation, Eason Jordan to wait behind in Abuja, but it did not work.”
This is further strengthened by the fact that those who have the actual custody of the girls who had so far escaped from captivity denied knowledge of the movement of their children to Abuja.
These incidents have raised suspicion about the real motives of the campaigners, especially in view of a recent declaration by a United Kingdom Public Relations consultant, Burson Marsteller that it was contacted by some leaders of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, to facilitate a visit by the #BringBackOur Girls movement to the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
According to sources, Borno State government and the leadership of the group had persistently prevailed on the parents of the Chibok girls, as well as those who escaped from captivity, not to honour several invitations in the last couple of weeks.
bringbackThe sources claimed that efforts of the Borno State Commissioner of Police, the Chief of Defence Staff, as well as the Presidential Fact-finding Committee to have a one-on-one meeting with the parents of 219 girls who are still missing were rebuffed at various times in the recent past.
The General Sabo-led fact-finding committee in its report submitted to the President recently, expressed frustrations over the missing girls’ parents’ refusal to meet with it after several efforts including a guarantee of privacy and adequate security.
According to a member of the committee, “the excuse given by the parents for refusing to honour our invitation for a meeting was fear of reprisal by the insurgents. We chose a very private location and shut out the media, yet they wouldn’t show up. How then do you put faces to the names of affected parents and work out plans for assuaging their emotional trauma?”
On the aborted meeting with the President, a security chief wondered why parents who would not honour the invitation of government agencies and the Presidency, found time to meet with Malala and grant interviews with the foreign media without fear of reprisals from the Boko Haram members.
The questions on the minds of many observers are whether Malala was fooled by the #BringBackOurGirls movement.
Over three months ago, over 280 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were abducted from their school premises and taken hostage by Boko Haram insurgents. While about 50 of them have reportedly escaped from their abductors, others are still being held in an undisclosed area, which has elicited global concerns.