By Jerry Emmanson, Abuja
A concern group under the aegis, The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) has begged those alleged to have links with Boko Haram over the abducted Chibok Girls, in person of Ahmed Salkida, Aisha Wakil and Ahmed Bolori to help secure the immediate and unconditional release of the girls from their abductors to save Nigerians from endless trauma.
CATE also appealed to the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, which has been campaigning for the release of the girls to direct its planned protest at the Salkida, Wakil and Bolori even as it expressed concerns that time is running out.
A text read at a briefing in Abuja by CATE’s National Coordinator, Gabriel Onoja, suggested that the trio named by the military possibly knew more about Boko Haram than the security agencies once had cause to believe.
The text reads, “We want the abducted girls back now that their captors, Boko Haram fighters have released a video to convince the world that many of them are still alive. The abduction in itself is evil and the girls’ travails is felt by all Nigerians and anyone that still has human blood flowing in their veins. This is why it is painful that after more than two years and despite several operations, promises, failed negotiations and dashed expectations the girls are still captives.
“Their continued captivity has definitely been traumatic for the girls, especially as they have recounted how some their colleagues died. It has been harrowing for their parents and friends who daily wonder when their girls would be home or if they are among the unfortunate ones that have been reported dead. It has been crippling even for the nation as it became impossible to decisively end the terrorism crisis.
“We must point out that despite the girls still being captive we appreciate all previous efforts by the Nigerian military in defeating the Boko Haram Terrorists. The way they degraded the group’s fighting capabilities. This imminent defeat is likely the reason Boko Haram is now using the girls as bait to both stall further military operations against them and to have time for reorganising to become strong again.
“We have also seen something that the entire country overlooked all along since the girls were first abducted from their school in Chibok. There are Nigerians that have the information about the girls all this time and they possibly know more about Boko Haram than even the security agencies once had cause to believe. They declared Ahmad Salkida, Barr. Aisha Wakil and Ahmed Bolori wanted in connection with the information they have about the whereabouts of the girls and Boko Haram in general considering the unfettered access they have with the terrorists.
“The refreshed leadership of Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group has also been reported to have similar information and some measure of access to the terrorists.
“Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism therefore appeal to the trio of Salkida, Wakil and Bolori and all other persons with direct link to Boko Haram everywhere across the world to prevail on the abductors of these girls to release them unconditionally. The girls, their families and the country have suffered enough.
“We extend the same appeal to BBOG. They should use their connections to appeal to the trio of Salkida, Wakil and Bolori to help end the nightmare that has become the daily lives of these children. The group, in our view, currently channels its energy towards protesting at the wrong quarters. We think if BBOG converts its protest into an appeal to the human part of this trio a lot of progress would be potentially made.
“Nigerians should please help us beg those with direct contact with the captors of these girls, because time is running out in the practical sense as the defeated terrorists become increasingly more desperate. This has been exacerbated by the knowledge that their contacts in the outside world are now well known to the authorities. We should all appeal to human conscience of all those involved in this affair as time is no longer on our side,” Onoja said.