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Despairing Chibok Parents Visit To Obasanjo; Any Hope For Back-channel Negotiations?


The Oasis Reporters

March 26, 2018


Joy for Dapchi parents as their children are returned, but for the Chibok parents, Obasanjo exhorts them, 1,500km away from the scene of the abduction. ‘Do not despair’, 2018 he says.


Parents of the earlier schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok did not want to take the shine out of the frenzied celebration of the kidnapped Dapchi girls released almost intact in numbers to their parents. Except of course, the only Christian girl, Leah Sharibu. They had heard of the “back-channel” negotiations that led to the freedom of the Dapchi girls.

They did not want to take their sorrow and tears to President Buhari in Abuja. Rather they headed southwest to see a
former President, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, who on Saturday, received some of the parents of the Chibok girls, who are still kept in an undisclosed location by suspected members of the Boko haram terrorist sect since their abduction from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Bornu State, in July 2014.

The Chibok parents – comprising 17 women and 13 men, were in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to plead with Obasanjo to prevail on the Federal government and the International community to expedite action towards freeing their 112 daughters still in Boko haram captivity.
The ex – President who received the distraught parents at the Green Legacy Resort within his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, (OOPL), Abeokuta, expressed confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s ability to rescue the remaining girls.

Obasanjo had words of exhortation from John 16 verse 33 and James 1verse 2, to read to the parents not to despair any longer, saying God who does no evil understands their plight and was capable of bringing succour to them in no time.
Obasanjo also reminded them that as Christians, it should not be forgotten that they would experience tribulations and fiery trials in the world such as the one burdening them since four years now, and said God who allowed it, also had a good purpose for it.
“I want to share with you some of my own thoughts about the sovereignty of God and what he can do. He is all knowing, powerful and can do anything.
“I want to share some passages in the bible. Some of the passages in the bible have similar passages in the Holy Qur’an. (John 16vs 33). I have told you this that you may have peace and confidence in me, but I the world, you will have tribulations, trials and distress, and be undaunted for I have overcome the world.
“That is our Lord Jesus talking to his disciples and all of us who are Christians are Jesus disciples. Jesus did not say we will not have tribulations in the world, he said we will have tribulations, trials and distress. Our faith will be tested.
“Whatever God allows to happen, he allows it for a good purpose, to test our faith and it is in testing of our faith that our character is shaped and strengthened.
“I understand how you feel now, I understand your pain and your anguish, God never does evil whatever happens to strengthen and make us perfect,” he said.
One of the parents, Mr Yakubu Nkeki read an address, appealing to Obasanjo to “ginger” the Federal Government and world leaders to bring their “daughters back from captivity.”
Nkeki lamented that in about a month’s time, it would be four years when 276 Chibok school girls were abducted, saying while 162 of them had been set free, 112 others – who are their children, still remained with the terrorist sect.

What made “back-channel” negotiations work so effectively for President Buhari and was not available for former president Goodluck Jonathan when the Chibok girls were abducted?

What is the overall impact of the “back-channel” methods for the security of girls in the troubled northeast part of Nigeria, today and in the near future?

Security and social affairs analysts are having a tough time fashioning out common answers to these nagging issues that confront Nigeria and it seems their are no easy answers. Meanwhile the tears in the eyes of the people of Chibok are still misty and sad.

Additional source : Nation online

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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