THE Jire Dole network, a group of women survivors and relatives of missing persons of the Boko Haram conflict has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Borno State government to tow the path of dialogue and negotiation to bring the crisis in the North East to an end and free the hundreds of women who are still being held by the insurgents.
The charge was contained in a statement issued by Hamsatu Allamin, the Founder of the Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development on behalf of the Jire Dole Network in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the kidnap of the Chibok Schoolgirls on 14 April 2014.
The group noted that several other abductions of women and children by Boko Haram before and after the Chibok girls have gone largely unreported and the majority of those so captured are still in captivity while some who came back are left emotionally and psychologically devastated.
“The stories/ordeals of abducted women and girls are better imagined than actually seen or heard, as many came back with babies whose fathers even the mothers do not know,” the statement read in part.
The women said the situation of women in Borno is worth declaring a state of emergency over hence the need for the government and its partners to come to their rescue.
“As the adage goes, ‘If you want to advance a society, target the women, and if you want to destroy a society too, target the women”, we are indeed targeted!” the statement added.
“That women and girls are abducted is still a fact with no end in sight, including the most recent when a number of women in the convoy of the governor’s (Kashim Shettima) political campaign were ambushed between Dikwa and Ngala.
“The bitter fact about it is that no mention, no acknowledgement is ever made, not to talk attempting to secure their freedoms.
“Hence this clarion call for the attention of the whole world (International Community) that is now operating on our soil, our impartial President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (in whom a high hope for our survival lies) and the incoming Chief Security Officer of Borno State, Prof Babagan Umara Zulum, to passionately encourage the paths of dialogue and negotiations (while the Military campaigns take place in one hand) to secure a lasting ceasefire so that all our women, girls and children in captivity will return and a halt put on the further abductions not only in the North East but across the other parts of Northern Nigeria.”
In a speech on Sunday in remembrance of the Chibok Girls, President Buhari said he still stands by his promise to rescue all the girls from captivity, including Leah Sharibu, the only one left in Boko Haram custody of the 110 school girls that were abducted from their School in Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2018.
“We have succeeded in bringing back 107 of them, but we will not rest until all the remaining girls are back and reunited with their families. I made this promise when I became President, and I will keep it,” Buhari stated.
“We will never give up on our missing daughters, including Leah Sharibu; and all the other people held hostage by Boko Haram. In the last four years, our security agencies have successfully rescued thousands of captives, and they will not relent until every captive is free.”