The first female University vice-chancellor in Nigeria, Grace Alele-Williams, has criticized the Nigerian army for its inability to rescue the abducted Chibok School girls, three years after they were kidnapped by the Boko Haram.
The insurgents attacked Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, on April 14, 2014 and whisked away 276 female students from their dormitory.
Since then, 57 of the girls have escaped, three were found, and 21 released after a negotiation between the terrorists and the Nigerian government brokered by international partners.
Speaking on Friday at the first inaugural lecture on Chibok girls in Abuja, Alele-Williams said the military has not demonstrated any seriousness in rescuing the girls.
The academic also said it appeared that the insurgents are better armed than the Nigerian military, or that “less powerful” soldiers were being sent to the field to confront them.
“The story of the Chibok girls nowadays is now something that has become a game. We are more interested in other things,” she said.
“Our troops are not using correct arms… I am told that we have arms that are less powerful than those used by the insurgents.
“Many of our soldiers have gone to other parts of West Africa. We see that we have very good soldiers who can work out things in other places, but why are the less powerful ones sent to rescue Chibok girls?
“Why can’t they send well-equipped soldiers to go out and bring back our girls and clean the hearts of their weeping mothers?”
Alele-Williams also accused the military hierarchy of not showing enough interest in the plight of the victims.
She said: “We have an army where directors and those who give orders sit back in Abuja and send less powerful ones to the field.
“These people then do not carry out the thinking necessary and the work necessary to bring back out girls.
“We even make pacts with other African countries and say we are going to do this and that but we have not been able to do so, which makes us a laughing stock.”
Also speaking via video message, Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi commended the Bring Back our Girls campaign group for its consistency in demanding the rescue of the kidnapped girls.
Sanusi, who was originally billed to deliver the lecture, sent his daughter, Shahida to represent him at the event.