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Press Release: THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESCUE THE CHIBOK GIRLS

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Saturday, October 5, 2019 marked 2,000 Days since 276 schoolgirls were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram. 57 girls escaped in the first 24 hours

THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESCUE THE CHIBOK GIRLS
Chibok girls

In the last 5 years, 107 of the 219 girls held captive either escaped; were released after negotiations; or were found after the army liberated the areas where they were being held.

§ To date, 112 Chibok Girls remain captives of the terrorists.

The Bring Back Our Girls movement decided to meet daily at the Unity Fountain in Abuja after the first protest on April 30th because we believed we needed to put consistent pressure on the President Goodluck Jonathan government to find and rescue the Chibok Girls. Our initial engagements and responses received had clearly indicated that the abduction was not taken seriously.

Our perception was confirmed in the investigative piece published by the Wall Street Journal in December 2017. Some excerpts from the article:

“To the surprise of Obama’s Africa team, the abduction of an entire student body barely registered in the press at home or abroad. In Nigeria, the reaction was muffled by military leaders who informed their president the kidnapping seemed to be a hoax.

‘We knew this was going to be big,’ said Grant T. Harris, Obama’s Africa director. “But it was initially met with a deafening silence.’”

THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESCUE THE CHIBOK GIRLS
People march during a silent protest calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped girls of the government secondary school in Chibok, who were abducted a year ago, in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday, April 13, 2015. Nearly 300 schoolgirls from Chibok were abducted in a mass kidnapping on the night of April 14-15. Dozens escaped on their own but 219 remain missing. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

“The first lady’s photo (May 7) would front nearly every Nigerian newspaper, blindsiding President Goodluck Jonathan, whose military still suspected the kidnapping had never happened. Facing an unprecedented form of public pressure from his most powerful ally, Jonathan had few options. He accepted the White House’s request to launch a rescue effort.”

“’We gave them a hammer, but they never picked it up,’ an American officer said. ‘There wasn’t enough political will.’”

“The #BringBackOurGirls campaign had made Nigeria a magnet for reward chasers and have-a-go heroes. The government fuelled the chaos by paying millions of dollars for information that led nowhere. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan’s spokesman at the time, acknowledged the search became a gold rush. ‘There were too many actors working at cross-purposes,’ he said.”

In his memoir, For the Record, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron wrote that at the time of the abduction, British troops traced the location of some of the girls and offered to help, but former President Goodluck Jonathan refused. Even though Mr Cameron’s book was published on September 19, 2019, this part of the book was highlighted as family, friends and concerned citizens painfully marked 2,000 Days of the abduction.

In his words, “As ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign spread across the world, we embedded a team of military and intelligence experts in Nigeria and sent spy planes and Tornadoes with thermal imaging to search for the missing girls. And, amazingly, from the skies above a forest three times the size of Wales, we managed to locate some of them. … But Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. When he eventually made a statement, it was to accuse the campaigners of politicizing the tragedy. And absolutely crucially, when we offered to help rescue the girls we had located, he refused.”

THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO RESCUE THE CHIBOK GIRLS
In this photo released by the Nigeria State House, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, left, welcomes some of the freed Chibok school girls at the state House in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Twenty-one of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago were freed Thursday in a swap for detained leaders of the Islamic extremist group ‚Äî the first release since nearly 300 girls were taken captive in a case that provoked international outrage.

However, in a swift response, former President Jonathan issued a statement asserting that Mr Cameron’s claims are inaccurate. He says, “In his book, Mr. Cameron failed to mention that I wrote him requesting his help on Chibok. Why did he suppress that information? I remind him that copies of that letter exist at the State Houses in Nigeria and London. He never called me on the phone to offer any help. On the contrary, I am the one that reached out to him.”

He also stated, “I also authorized the secret deployment of troops from the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel as a result of the Chibok incident, so how Mr. Cameron could say this with a straight face beats me.”

A Nigeria Senator at the time of the abduction has also supported Mr Cameron, stating that his interaction with President Jonathan in the company of nine other Senators and senior government officials showed clearly that the abduction was not being taken seriously. In his words, “…We met him at the First Lady’s meeting room. His service chiefs, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) were also there. Pius Anyim, the then SGF. President Jonathan made us believe all through the meeting that the Chibok story was not real. It was staged. That it was politics. He tried very hard to convince us. This was his mindset and he made no apologies about it.”

Our perceptions, the Wall Street Journal article, a serving Senator’s recollections, that have not been debunked, clearly support Mr Cameron’s assertions.

In describing the fate of the Chibok Girls, Mr Cameron said, “Some of the girls have managed to escape over the following four years, and others have been released, but over a hundred are still missing. Once again. the combination of Islamist extremism and bad governance proved fatal.”

The deadly combination of bad governance and terrorism has been at the heart of our cry to Bring Back Our Girls for over five years because if the government’s disposition to security and human dignity is not reprogrammed, our girls will not return and more of our children will continue to be abducted.

As a citizens-led movement, we are committed to reminding the government of the day of its constitutional responsibility to make the security and welfare of Nigerian citizens its priority. Today, our core demand remains the same, relevant today as it has been on each of the over 2,000 days we have turned up in Abuja, Lagos, London, New York, Washington, DC and all around the world, pressuring two consecutive Presidents of Nigeria to rescue the remaining 112 Chibok Girls, Leah Sharibu and thousands of others that remain in captivity.

The first picture taken by the Chibok girls while in captivity.

For as long as they remain in captivity, we shall continue to carry them in our hearts and make our voices resound and reecho our cries of five years: “Mr President, #BringBackOurGirls now and alive!”

What are we demanding?
#BringBackOurGirls Now & Alive

What are we asking?
The truth, nothing but the truth!

What do we want?
Our girls back now and alive!
When shall we stop?
Not until our girls are back and alive! Not without our daughters!

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Signed:

For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls Abuja Family
Florence Ozor
Gapani Yanga
Nifemi Onifade

For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls Lagos Family
Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi
Aisha Oyebode
Ayo Obe
Babasola Olalere
F.T. Adebayo
Habiba Balogun
Monday Ojon
Ngozi Iwere
‘Yemi Adamolekun
Yemisi Ransome-Kuti

For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls New York Family
Debbie Almontaser
Dionne Boissiere
Donald Robotham
Iman Drammeh-Nur
Laurie Combo (New York City Council)
Marcia Fingal
Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome
Naomi Less
Pat Sellers
R. Evon Benson-Idahosa
Rodneyse Bichotte (New York State Assembly)
Ruth Messinger
Shahara Jackson
Sherrie Russell-Brown
Tania Darbouze
Tehilah Eisenstadt

For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls Washington DC Family
Omolola Adele-Oso

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Press Release

Sowore: Why is he still in Custody? Emma Ike Agu asks.

A few hours ago, I spoke with Omoyele Sowore’s lead defense attorney, Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, on learning that Omoyele is yet to meet his bail requirements.
Femi Falana ( SAN) told me (Emma Ike Agu) that Omoyele Sowore’s bail conditions had been met. I replied and asked him again why Sowore is still in government’s custody if his bail requirements have been resolved? Femi said, “call me on Monday, then I will be in a better position to tell you.”

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Fellow Nigerians, please lend me two minutes of your time. I want to talk about a fundamental matter that concerns all of us — the issue of human rights violations in Nigeria with Omoyele Sowore as the subject matter.
Since August 3, 2019, Sowore was arrested by the Nigerian Department of Security Services (DSS) for alleged treason after calling for a protest tagged ‘#revolution now.’ Three months and still counting, the man is yet to regain his freedom.

A few hours ago, I spoke with Omoyele Sowore’s lead defense attorney, Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, on learning that Omoyele is yet to meet his bail requirements.
Femi Falana ( SAN) told me (Emma Ike Agu) that Omoyele Sowore’s bail conditions had been met. I replied and asked him again why Sowore is still in government’s custody if his bail requirements have been resolved? Femi said, “call me on Monday, then I will be in a better position to tell you.”

Sowore since 1989 had always been out front. You may not like the man’s way of doing things; no one can deny the fact that Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters is an activist. What even makes me sad over this whole issue was when I heard that no one stood as his surety.
To think that Sowore, a human rights activist and a highly intelligent Nigerian, is still in detention, months after the court granted him bail is utterly shocking and hard to believe. People will say-this is Nigeria, for you”. No, this is not Nigeria, we can be far better than this!

As much as I strongly disagree with some of Sowore’s journalistic styles, his arrest and continued detention by the government is wrong. The government should release the man without any further delay. The continued arrests and detentions of journalists and media personalities remain a big stain on our democracy. Nigerians have not forgotten how Dele Giwa, a foremost Nigerian journalist, was murdered. Just as individuals have the right to sue the government and enforce their fundamental human rights, the government should not hesitate to sue journalists who publish stories the government believes are inaccurate and a threat to our democracy and national security. Every civilized government follows this simple process. You don’t throw people behind bars, simply because you have the power and authority. It is wrong and immoral.

I regularly hear how media personalities based abroad who criticize the Mohhamadu Buhari lead government become targets of the security operatives at Muritala Moahhamdu airport. It is highly disturbing and most unfortunate and should be a significant cause of concern to every Nigerian, regardless of tribe and religion.

Please release Omoyale Sowore, immediately; we are living in 2019, this is not the 80s.

Emma Ike Agu’s the founder of New York International Network & The NewsCap. He writes from New York City.

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Inside Nigeria

Press Release: NIGERIA, U.S. DISCUSS INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING IN RIYADH

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Garba Shehu: President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the willingness of the Nigerian government to mobilize additional capital from development finance institutions for the upgrade of critical infrastructure in the country.
The President met with U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin in Riyadh on Wednesday and they had positive discussions on investments in Nigeria under the new United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC), which provides $60 billion for investments in developing nations.
Speaking at the meeting held on the margins of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, President Buhari said Nigeria will leverage on the U.S facility to address current challenges confronting her power sector as well as general upgrade of infrastructure.
The President thanked the U.S government for supporting Nigeria’s anti-terrorism efforts.
The President and Mnuchin also discussed areas of strengthening Nigeria’s ongoing collaboration with the United States on stopping terrorist financing.
Mnuchin was accompanied by Brent Macintosh, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the United States Treasury Department.
The Treasury Secretary used the occasion to introduce Macintosh who was recently promoted Under Secretary for International Affairs by President Trump after the previous Under Secretary David Malpass was elected President of the World Bank.
The Nigerian leader congratulated Macintosh on his elevation and requested for his continued support to Nigeria especially in accessing the $60 billion infrastructure fund under the USIDFC.

President Buhari with U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
October 31, 2019

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Press Release

Press Release: Emma Ike Agu commiserates with the Kanu family.

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Yesterday morning, I recieved a message from Prince Emma Kanu, who informed me he lost his beloved mother. I shared the sad news with prominent Igbo leaders, including the President General Of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Nnia Nwodo. A lot of feathers may have been ruffled in the past; however, in a moment like this, we set our pride and individual acrimonies aside to do what is right.
I wish to use this opportunity to express my profound sympathy to them. I went through this same pain last two years and knew deep inside my heart; that this irreparable loss could be too hard to bear.

publisher, TheNews Cap/ the President of New York International Network and Long Island, Recording Studios, Jericho Turnpike, New York
publisher, TheNews Cap/ the President of New York International Network and Long Island, Recording Studios, Jericho Turnpike, New York

The fact remains that Nnamdi Kanu and I are like day and night and without question two parallel lines. I am using this opportunity to call on President Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria to allow Nnamdi Kanu to visit Nigeria to bury his mother. This gesture may become a turning point for everyone.

Emma Ike Agu,
publisher, TheNews Cap/ the President of New York International Network and Long Island, Recording Studios, Jericho Turnpike, New York

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Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: Chief John Nnia Nwodo never knelt down & begged Dr. Junaid Mohammed to be made President.

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Our attention has been drawn to a mendacious and incendiary interview granted to the press by Dr Junaid Mohammed purporting that the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, knelt down in 2001 before a group of northern politicians to beg to be made president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The claim by Dr Junaid is as fallacious as it is a tissue of lies and a figment of his obviously distorted imagination intended to cast aspersions on the person of Chief Nwodo.
While it is true that the President General was a presidential aspirant then under the ANPP, just like the current President, Muhammadu Buhari, and went round the country campaigning like others, at no time did he condescend to kneeling down to beg for favour from any group.
Firstly, Dr Junaid and his group did not possess the singular capacity to make anybody a president. It required the collective mandate of his party then for him to emerge as their flag-bearer.
It is on record that it was Chief Nwodo who led the walk out at their national convention when the charade called election was skewed in favour of Muhammadu Buhari, against the zoning policy of the party.
Secondly, if there were parameters to determine a credible aspirant to be supported by the phantom kingmakers as Dr Junaid claimed, Chief Nwodo eminently qualified then to lead this country by stature, intellectual erudition and managerial competence.

Nnia Nwodo


There is no gain saying the fact that if he had been given the opportunity to lead the country when he sought for it, Nigeria would not be in the sad state it is today, because both as an astute lawyer and economist, he would have enthroned equity, good governance and a focused and thriving economy all would be proud of.

Therefore, for Dr. Junaid Mohammed to want to denigrate the impeccable record of Chief Nwodo will not diminish his stature and person before those who already know his acclaimed competence and integrity.
Dr. Junaid is an incurable irredentist and only seeking to revive a political relevance he no longer possesses.
However, he will do well not to try to sully the image of Chief Nwodo which Nigerians know remains unassailable.

Chief Emeka Attamah
S.A. to the PG on M & P.

thenewscap
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