A group known as BAOBAB, an organisation that fights for women’s right human rights, has asked the Nigeria First Lady, Patience Jonathan, to tender unreserved apologies to the parents of the school girls kidnapped in Chibok over three weeks ago for expressing doubts that the abduction ever took place.
Coordinator of the group, Hauwa Abdu Biu, also condemned the actions of Jonathan in summoning, interrogating, and detaining duly appointed government officials.
The First Lady had been accused of ordering the arrest of one Naomi Nyadar, a leader of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, an allegation she has since denied.
“BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights, Borno state outreach, condemns in its totality the actions of the wife of Nigerian president, Mrs. Patience Jonathan on concerns shown by people within and outside Nigeria on the abduction of innocent girls…A situation when the wife of the president who does not have a role under the Nigerian constitution begins to summon and interrogate duly appointed government officials as well as giving them directives and detaining some of them is worrisome,” Biu said.
She said Jonathan’s actions could interfere with the various strategies put in place towards addressing insurgency crisis rocking the country and called on the federal government to intensify efforts for the immediate rescue of the missing girls.
“We want them back, safe in their homes wherever they are. The poor handling of information about the exact number of girls who are still missing and the fact that members of the Boko Haram have claimed responsibility for their abduction must not deter those with the responsibility for the safety of all Nigerians from working to find them,” the group said.
The group commended the efforts of various women organizations within and outside the country, religious bodies, local and foreign media towards rescuing the abducted girls.