Why We Changed Strategy In Our Support Of #BringBackOurGirls Group – APC

APCThe governing All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to the dismay expressed by the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government.

In the build-up to the 2015 general elections, the APC, then an opposition party, was a strong voice behind the BBOG’s campaign for the rescue of the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014.

So strong was the bond between the group and some leading members of the APC that the PDP, which was in government, accused the BBOG of being an extension of the then opposition party.

The APC also made the abducted Chibok schoolgirls a part of its campaign issue against the PDP-led federal government at the time, promising to rescue them if elected into office.

Now in power for over a year and the girls still in captivity, APC’s relationship with the campaigners has become frosty.

The BBOG members were on Tuesday barricaded by the police from marching to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. A pro-government group had on the same day also joined to block the group’s path to the villa.

Piqued by the development, a co-convener of the BBOG and former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili, took to Twitter on Friday to remind President Muhammadu Buhari that it was 879 days since the Chibok girls were abducted.

“No More excuses. Decide now. Act now”, Mrs. Ezekwesili told the president.

The former minister, in her tweets, said that by slandering, renting a crowd, and attempting to stop their protest march, “officials of low degree” thought they could destroy BBOG, so that the group would stop “disturbing” the government.

As a reminder of what the group insists the president owes the people, Ezekwesili quoted a line from President Buhari’s inaugural speech on May 29, 2015 in which he said: “We cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons”.

She also referred the APC to the its December 2014 tweet, in which it said, “It’s hours to New Year celebration. Our Chibok girls aren’t home yet. If you talk about it, they label you ‘opposition’. Things must change”.

The APC, in its response to Mrs. Ezekwesili, who was also a former World Bank Vice President, said it is committed to the BBOG’s struggle, but that its strategy has changed since it is now the party in power.

“As opposition then, #BringBackOurGirls was an open campaign, since that was the only way we could pressure government into action”, the APC tweeted.

“However, as leading party, our strategy changed. We’re most concerned with actual efforts to rescue the girls and our efforts are evident”.

The party said the BBOG leader would agree that the current administration is succeeding in its war against insurgency.

“Dear @obyezeks, we respect your resilience and commitment to the #BringBackOurGirls struggle and would do anything to encourage you, Ma.

“As a party, we’ll continue to work with government and security forces, as much as legally allowed, until they #BringBackOurGirls”.

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