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Frankly Speaking With Jola Sotubo Chibok girls are gone for good

The campaign to secure the girls’ rescue has been unending and one can’t help but praise the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group for their tireless efforts to get the Chibok girls back home.

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It’s been two years since the Chibok girls were abducted from their school in Borno State.

The girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014, and most of them remain in captivity, or so many will like to believe.

The campaign to secure the girls’ rescue has been unending and one can’t help but praise the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group for their tireless efforts to get the Chibok girls back home.

However, the time has come to face the truth, unpleasant though it may be.

The Chibok girls were taken away by murderous terrorists who kill with impunity and without a second thought. Are we to believe that they kept the girls aside for a special day?

There have also been rampant reports that the sect is suffering a food shortage, so how is it feeding such a large number of girls?

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo recently gave a realistic opinion on the girls’ fate when he said that it’s too late to rescue them.

“The former president heard about the kidnap 8am in the morning of the abduction but failed to act until 72 hours later and by then it was too late,” Obasanjo said on Friday, February 5, 2016, while speaking at an event in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

“Anyone saying they (Chibok girls) will return is telling lies, maybe some of them will return to tell their story,” he added.

Obasanjo had expressed a similar sentiment during an interview with Rosie Collyer of Radio France Internationale (RFI) in 2014, the year the girls were abducted.

“We will never be able to get those girls again. And the story of those girls will go on for the next 30 years,” he said.

“Some of them will come out when they are adults or they will be sent back when they are pregnant by those who have captured them. If anyone is thinking of being able to get those girls released intact, he must be day dreaming,” he added.

This is coming from someone who has access to Boko Haram and once offered to negotiate with the sect for the girls’ release.

“I have ways of reaching them, (Boko Haram) but I have not been given the go ahead,” Obasanjo told BBC Africa in 2014.

“I believe that some of them will never return. We will still be hearing about them many years from now, some will give birth to children of the Boko Haram members, but if they cannot take care of them in the forest, they may release them,” he added.

The Nigerian government has also said that it’s not sure when the girls will return home.

“At every security council meeting that I have attended, the President has always been concerned about Chibok girls. He thinks of how this can be done quickly. But it’s a very delicate issue and we cannot say we can deal with it next week. Every rescue attempt must take the safety of the girls into consideration,” Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said during a recent forum on vulnerable people in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed that the United of States of America and the United Kingdom knew where some of the abducted Chibok girls were kept for a while, but did nothing to save them.

This was disclosed by former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock while speaking to The Sunday Times.

“A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa Forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment,” Pocock said.

“You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment — 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” he added.

A small surge of hope was felt on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, when CNN released a video which had been sent by Boko Haram to negotiators to show that the girls were alive and well.

The video was supposedly shot in December 2015, but Boko Haram members have become such masters at propaganda, that it’s hard to believe anything that comes from them.

The unfortunate truth is that if the Chibok girls could be rescued, they would’ve been rescued by now.

Precious time was wasted in taking action to save them and now it is too late.

This is a hard pill to swallow because these girls have parents who need closure of some sort before believing their daughters are gone.

However, it’s time for Nigerians to come to terms with what many world leaders probably already know, the Chibok girls are gone for good.

Can Chibok girls still be rescued?»

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