© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
FLASHBACK: Buhari’s Chibok-abduction countdown before 2015 election
It is now four years since the Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
Before the 2015 presidential election that brought the present government to power, Muhammadu Buhari, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), promised several times to defeat Boko Haram and rescue the girls.
“As a father, I feel the pain of the victims of insurgency, kidnapping and violence,” he said, for example, in March 2015 at a town hall meeting in Abuja. “Under my watch, no force, external or internal, will occupy even an inch of Nigerian soil. I will give it all it takes to ensure that our girls kidnapped from Chibok are rescued and reintegrated with their families.”
But not only did Buhari promise to rescue the abducted girls, he also kept track of the number of days the girls were spending in captivity. He regularly counted down to the potential release of the girls from captivity — often retweets of abduction-duration countdown by his party.
Sometimes, his Chibok-related tweets were separated by a day or sometimes by an interval of two days of three days. These days, though, the President only remembers the girls on their kidnap anniversaries, or when pushed to the wall by Oby Ezekwesili’s Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy groups.
Four years on, more than half of the abductees have been recovered but 112 of them are still missing, with it emerging on Saturday that only 15 of those 113 are still alive, and that they have been married off.
Below are samples from the days of Buhari’s frequent pro-Chibok social-media advocacy. This no longer happens now that Buhari is President, and the citizens are asking: what has changed?