Chibok girls: We should be partners, FG tells BBOG

The Federal Government has asked the Bring Back Our Girls group (BBOG) to stop seeing the government as an adversary but rather a partner in securing the release of the abducted Chibok girls.

In a statement, minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said despite the government’s transparency to the BBOG group, it still sees President Muhammadu Buhari as an adversary.

”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 assured Nigerians that the government was working ceaselessly to ensure the release of the girls.

”Let me say unequivocally that the people involved in the negotiations are working. 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 jeopardize these talks, irrespective of the pressure or provocation from any quarter,” the minister said.

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