We can't find Chibok girls – Buhari tells parents, BBOG campaigners …President has no emotional connection to grieving mothers, says Ezekwesili

By The Citizen

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday told BringBackOurGirls campaigners and parents of the over 200 girls abducted from their school in Chibok in 2014 that he was yet to find the abducted girls, however, he expected them to be appreciative of the efforts his government to rescuing the girls.

He said it would be wrong to believe that his administration had not been doing anything about their plight.

Buhari addressed the campaigners and the parents of the girls behind closed doors inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.

Leader of the campaigners, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, told reporters of the outcome of the meeting.

Ezekwesili confirmed the President also insisted at the meeting that he had no credible information on the current location of the abducted girls.

'The President stated that he would also have expected us to acknowledge the efforts that they have so far made and that we failed to acknowledge the efforts they have made, but that he wishes that we would agree that he is very committed to the matter of our Chibok girls.

'He used the specific phrase that he sleeps and wakes up thinking about the rescue of our girls,' Ezekwesili said.

She said Buhari, therefore, asked for understanding, assuring them that efforts were being intensified to free the girls.

She said, 'What the President essentially said is that his statement during the media chat that they do not have credible intelligence was him being truthful in the way that he knows how to be and that he was not prepared to tell any lies.

'He insisted that they do not have the kind of reliable intelligence that would enable them rescue the girls as immediately as we are demanding.

'He said that we should continue to try to bear with him and that based on the fact that the government has recorded considerable success in decimating Boko Haram and its hold over the North-East Zone and that what remains is the matter of rescuing our Chibok girls and other affected citizens that are in abduction.

'He said, therefore, we will have to wait and that they would make the effort. He pleaded with the parents that his government would place as much efforts (as possible) to rescuing the girls and that was the same message he had given to them before and that he was repeating the same message.'

Ezekwesili said from the feedback they got, it was clear the President feels he has already given his best in the efforts to rescue the girls.

She also said lack of response from government has made the girls' parents to feel like they are being ignored simply because they are poor and reside in the village.

Ezekwesili also accused the Minister of Women affairs, Aisha Alhassan, of attempting to break the ranks of the movement through her comments.

She said, 'You heard all the parents said at the meeting, is it because we are poor? Is it because we live in the forest? Is it because we live in the village? But that has no meaning in any society, there is no basis for discrimination on the basics of social status, political view, religious belief and other primordial device against any citizen.

'In the feedback from the President you can see clearly that the President feels that he has given his best in the efforts to rescue our Chibok girls, our President however was not able to emotionally connect to those crying mothers. That is an important attribute but we will continue to demand and we will take up the responsibility that the NSA has taken and we will make sure that we don't stop until our girls are back and alive.'

'So we are demanding that this administration will quickly agree with the demands of these parents that new investigation be made even as General Sabo report is being disclosed,' she said.