In a press statement issued to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, global activists affiliated with the #BringBackOurGirls movement urged the Nigerian president to rescue the missing Chibok girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.
The group’s calls for the girls’ rescue coincides with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where Mr. Buhari and other Nigerian officials will be in attendance.
In their letter to the president, the activists lauded the Nigerian military, the Multi-National Joint Task Force, and the Civilian Joint Task Force for the progress they have made in the fight against Boko Haram, but lamented that this progress has fallen short of rescuing the Chibok girls. The group emphasized that as of Wednesday, September 14, it has been exactly two years and five months since the girls’ abduction, but 218 still remain in captivity.
The activists pointed out that during his 2015 campaign for the presidency, Mr. Buhari had assured Nigerians that he “would not rest until all the girls are rescued alive and reunited with their families,” and insisted that his government would not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without first rescuing the Chibok girls and others held captive. Regardless of these statements, the president declared in December 2015 that Boko Haram had been “technically defeated.”
In its statement, the group said that the government and military now have sufficient information to rescue the captives.
“In light of the April 14, 2016 ‘proof of life’ video released by CNN, the May 2016 escape of Amina Ali and the most recent August 2016 ‘plea for rescue’ video released by Boko Haram, we believe there is more than sufficient credible evidence and intelligence to substantiate an immediate rescue effort of the Chibok Girls and thousands of others that remain in Boko Haram captivity,” the statement read.
The group concluded its petition by giving the president three options to rescue the girls: through the use of military force, negotiations, or a combination of the two.
“Time is running out. Excuses are running out. The time to act is now!” the group demanded.