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Group denies turning Chibok parents against Jonathan meeting

17 July 2014, 07:36Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Bring Back Our Girls group in Abuja has denied the accusation of instigating the parents of the girls kidnapped in Chibok into cancelling a planned meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.

The group, in a statement, said it observed with concern the increased negative publicity against its demands for the rescue of the abducted girls.

“In the last 24hours, the #BringBackOurGirls Abuja family has observed with consternation the escalation of the pattern of the campaign of calumny by Government officials on our Citizens movement advocating for the rescue of the 219 school girls of abducted from Chibok Girls Secondary School, 93 days ago," said the group in a statement.

"The latest in this trend is emanating from the visit facilitated for the 11 parents and five escaped girls who were visiting Abuja to interact with girl-child education advocate Malala Yousafzai.”

The group said during the public speech by Malala, she declared that she had received a promise by President Jonathan to meet the 11 parents and five girls.

“The movement was not aware and neither was it part of the discussion of the said visit to our President. However, at the daily sit out, our movement was informed by the Chairman, Abuja Chibok community, of the outcome of a meeting held with officials of the Presidency in Malala’s suite.

"He conveyed that they were informed at that meeting of the scheduling of the visit to the President for the eleven parents and five girls at 4.00pm on Tuesday."

The organisation added that although some members of the movement were surprised at the sudden invitation to meet with the President, its leadership concluded that session by emphasizing that it was the absolute right of the Chibok community to decide on the matter.

“It is instructive to note that majority of those at the Unity Fountain on that day were visiting from the Chibok community and were mostly the ones who vehemently expressed dismay at the information from the Chairman. He then clarified on the manner the invitation was conveyed to him and the parents at that meeting and reassured his community that he would schedule an emergency meeting to discuss the matter further.”

The campaign team said  the leadership of the group was invited to a meeting by the Chibok Chairman and the leadership of their development association with the 11 parents in attendance.

At the meeting, Bring Back our Girls said,  they conveyed to their unanimous decision to request for a rescheduling of the Malala facilitated meeting with the President.

They further informed the organisation of their intention to reach out to the Malala team and officials of the Presidency to request for an expanded meeting within a sufficient time frame for necessary planning with the rest of their community in Chibok.

"We want to repeat for the avoidance of doubt that we are not responsible for the cancellation of the meeting with the President by the 11 Parents and five escaped girls from Chibok has been insinuated by some Government officials,” the group stated.

It expressed gratitude to Malala who helped amplify the advocacy for concerted efforts towards the rescue of the girls, who were kidnapped in April.

- CAJ News


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