Posted by News Express | 3 March 2016 | 3,959 times
Mr Jeff Okoroafor, a strategic team member of the Abuja-based #BringBackOurGirls Movement and founder, OpinionNigeria. In this interview with MAYOWA OKEKALE, he bares his mind on the group’s hope that the government can still rescue the Chibok girls, despite lost hope by Nigerians.
After several months of unfulfilled expectation, it is believed in some quarters that the recovery of the Chibok girls is not realistic any longer. Even former President Olusegun Obasanjo, confirmed the claim recently. What is your take?
It is unclear the basis for which anyone doubting the possibility of the Chibok girls recovery is doing so. Those who hold this sort of belief, I am very certain, cannot say same if their own daughters were to be among the captives. Personally, there's only one person whose opinion really matter in this circumstance: that one person is President Muhammadu Buhari. He has recently reiterated his stand on doing everything necessary to rescue the Chibok girls alive. This is where I stand.
The #BringBackOurGirls group has been at the fore front of rescuing these girls, but little has been achieved to get it done. What is the way out?
There is no doubt about this and it is very true. The Bring-Back-Our-Girls movement has been in the forefront since April 30, 2014: 16 days after the girls were abducted by Boko Haram. And following the pledge made by the group, they will not stop advocating their rescue, unless and until they are back and alive.
The way out is that we will continue to engage the government, continue to keep the issue of the girls in the front-burner, calling on international community not to forget, but to also help amplify our voices. For the Nigerian military, intelligence gathering is key to winning the war and rescuing our girls. They should help us work on this aspect too.
Even, the tempo of Bring-Back-Our-Girls' advocacy has been reduced drastically by Nigerians, having become fed-up and lost hope. What is your perception of this?
It is normal that when a cause drags on for a very long time with no results in sight, some advocates of such cause gets tired. As much as the above may seem true, we've not and will not lose the one thing that has kept us going for this past two years – hope. Yes, our number may not be as it used to be, but we still have people come join us even after 600 days of unrelenting advocacy. We still receive overwhelming support from Nigerians, even if they don't come out daily to advocate. BBOG will only shut down its advocacy if the Chibok Girls are rescued.
If, unfortunately, the efforts to 'Bring-Back-Our-Girls' go futile, what would become of your movement, despite the clamour for over a year?
First, we are confident, given our new engagement strategies, that our efforts will not go 'futile'. The Bring-Back-Our-Girls movement have become an entry point into many other troubling issues in the country, giving a strong voice of responsibility to Nigerians. Bring-Back-Our-Girls will endure and be sustained.
•Photo shows Jeff Okoroafor.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.