SGF avoids me over my missing daughters – Cousin
He’s mischievous – Babachir
By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz
Bring Back Our Girls, the campaigners for the release of the abducted 218 Chibok school girls, yesterday sealed off one of the entrances to the Presidential Villa along Shehu Shagari Way in Abuja, protesting what they called Federal Government’s inaction on the abducted girls.
The protesters, led by a former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, matched from Unity Fountain to the Villa gate where they met a Police barricade that stopped them from further proceeding.
The group, comprising some parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, as well as members of the Chibok community, chanted slogans demanding for immediate action on the release of the girls.
“Mr. President, no more excuses! Mr. President, no more delay! Mr. President, decide now! Mr. President, act now; we want result,” the procession chanted as they approach the Villa access.
Ezekwesili, who addressed the protesters, said it was a shame that peaceful citizens would be blocked from meeting their president on issues they felt strongly about.
She demanded to know the leader of the Police officers deployed to barricade the road, and when her request went unanswered, the demonstrators set up a podium to address the press.
Relatives of the abducted schoolgirls and some persons displaced by the Boko Haram’s insurgency shared emotional stories of their ordeals.
The former minister said, Nigerians were interested in result as regards the rescue effort, “because Nigerians voted you in to solve these problems. The excuses will not work for us. We are standing to demand that the social contract that exists between those who are governed and those who govern them be respected and upheld.
“Mr. President, we are so disappointed because there is low energy behind the issue of our Chibok girls. How can there be low energy? No energy; my colleague says it is no energy, imagine! We want you to close your eyes and imagine that any of those girls were your granddaughter.
“Mr. President, when you campaigned, you promised that you were going to get our Chibok girls out. You said you were going to do everything possible. We want to be persuaded that you have done everything possible. We know, Mr. President that we are very reasonable Nigerians, if we see persuasive action, we will simply say; effort that is coherent, that is sustained, that is targeted towards getting result is being taken. And we will be calm, and say, result will come,” she said.
Ezekwesili said the campaign for the release of the schoolgirls was a “fight for the soul of Nigeria,” adding that “Nigeria should stop being a country that easily gives up.”
‘SGF avoids me because of my missing daughters’
In a related development, Reverend Enoch Mark, whose two daughters, Monica and Sarah, are among the abductees, said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, who he claimed to be his cousin, is avoiding him because he broached the issue of the girls’ freedom with him.
“The SGF is my cousin, but since I started talking to him on the rescue of the girls he has stopped picking my calls. But we used to talk about it before,” he said.
Rev. Mark, who said he had a heart attack that left him with stroke because of his lamentations over the plight and the condition of his two wards, chastised President Buhari for “not doing anything” to get the girls back.
Mark, who earlier fruitlessly pleaded with the policemen at the barricade to let protesters into the Villa to meet with the President, said the federal government was only deceiving Nigerians with empty promises about the rescue of the abductees.
“I would plead with the federal government to come to our aid, to release their people(Boko Haram ) so as to have our daughters back”.
But in a reaction, the SGF, who did not deny his relationship with Mark, however said he only met Mark twice in his life, saying it was therefore a lie for the Chibok parent to say he was avoiding him.
“I have seen him only twice in my life. One before I became SGF when he was introduced to me by a relation and another very briefly at a Leadership Newspapers award ceremony in which we only embraced. I won’t even recognize him now if I were to see him,” he wrote in a text message to our reporter.
“He could still be my cousin but one that is not very well known to me. Of course just like any one else, I have many cousins, some known and some unknown to me.
“He is obviously lying for a reason best known to him,” he added.
I invested my all on daughter – Mother
Mrs. Esther Yakubu, whose daughter, Maida (Dorcas) was featured in a Boko Haram proof of life video, said she spent all her life savings in bringing up the abducted schoolgirl and her education, saying the pains of missing her were inestimable.
“She means a lot to me. She is my first daughter. I spent all my life savings to send her to school. I, therefore, love her. I am missing her,” she said, holding back tears.
“I am here to deliver the message of my daughter to the President. My daughter wants the Boko Haram people to be set free so that she can come back to me. The way the President loves his children, I love my daughters; the way he celebrated with his daughters when they graduated from school, I want to hold and celebrate my daughter,” she said.
“If men don’t have the love of the child like women, the mothers among us will understand my pains. If you carry pregnancy for nine months, I carried hers for ten months. If you do labour for 2 or three hours, I laboured for three days to give birth to her,” Mrs. Yakubu explained.
The mother chided federal government over alleged inaction on rescuing the girls, adding “what they say every time is they have been working, but still there is no result. If truly they are working, by now we would have gotten result,” she said.
‘I cry thinking of my only sister’
Also at the scene, another Chibok indigene, Rhoda Ishaku, broke into tears while narrating her ordeals without her only sister, Sarah Ishaku, who, like others, has been with the Boko Haram abductors for over two years.
“Our mother gave birth only to the two of us and she died when we were very young. We grew up together and now she is no more with me.
“I do not sleep all night. I stay awake crying, please help us and have these girls back,” she said