People from Chibok community resident in Abuja and members of the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), movement on Monday said they regretted voting for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election.
They expressed their regrets on in Abuja at a protest rally over the inability of the government to take measures to rescue the over 200 school girls kidnapped by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in their school in Chibok, Borno State, in 2014.
Boko Haram had last week released a video of the girls who are still alive and said they were willing to trade the girls in exchange for their members in detention in various prisons.
One of the girls, Maida Yakubu, who also spoke in the video asked their parents to beg the Nigerian government to accede to the demand of Boko Haram so that they would be released.
Speaking during the protest on Monday, the chairman of the Chibok Community, Hosea Tsambido said members of the Community and BBOG voted massively for Mr. Buhari as against his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who they voted for in 2011.
“They tell us that our girls seen in the latest video was merely an arrangement,” Mr. Tsambido said. “No one has spoken to the family of any of the Chibok girls since the last video was released, by the terrorists. We regret our votes. We regret it.”
Speaking further, the community leader said, “We were promised that the president would visit Sambisa, after becoming president. We were also told that within two weeks our girls would be rescued.
“But over one year now, there is no tangible statement about our girls. The presidency has stated instead that it is confused.”
The protesters were heading for the Presidential villa to speak with the president as they usually do during their protests.
They were however, stopped by a combined team of security personnel at the entrance of the three arms zone.
The group said the current administration has ran out of excuses regarding the return of the Chibok girls.
“No more excuses,” they chanted several times.
The protest was still ongoing as at the time of this report.
A pro-Buhari group, the Buhari Media Support Group, (BMSG), had appealed to the “BringBackOurGirls” (BBOG) to shelve today’s demonstration to the Presidential Villa.
The group in a statement by one of its members, Muhammad Labbo, said that was necessary to avoid complications and anything capable of undermining efforts of the government to rescue the girls unharmed.
Mr. Labbo noted that playing politics with the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls was unhelpful and embarrassing to the government and counterproductive to the silent efforts of the military to rescue them.
He said the government would take serious exception to the mobilisation of the parents of the kidnapped girls to score political advantage or exploiting the tragedy to play to the gallery.
Mr. Labbo said dragging the parents of the victims to Abuja for endless demonstrations would only compound a bad situation, and give them the impression that a rescue mission “is as simple as abc.”
According to him, the BringBackOur Girls Group should not claim monopoly of patriotism and humanity over the government by seeking to undermine the silent efforts of the military to map out strategies to safely rescue the girls.
He said if there was a formula for rescuing the girls within 24 hours unharmed, government would have done that, reminding the Bring Back Our Girls group of the complexities and sensitivity of hostage rescue missions.
”The terrorists have no rules of engagement and therefore, would not mind killing all the hostages if the Nigerian military attempts any rash action,” he said.