BBOG asks US governor to apologise for ‘politicising Chibok abductions’

The #BringBackOurGirls movement has asked Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey and one of the Republican aspirants, to apologise for allegedly politicising the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls.

During his speech at the party’s national convention, Christie accused Hillary Clinton of keeping Boko Haram off terrorists watch list during her tenure as US secretary of state.

“In Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an al-Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list,” Christie had said.

“What happened because of this reckless action by the candidate who is the self-proclaimed champion of women around the world? These terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young girls two years ago.”

But in a letter dated July 21: Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, leaders of the BBOG, said Christie trivialised an important issue.

They said as a father of two girls, the governor ought to put himself in the place of the girls’ parents.

Below is the letter:

We write this letter as a statement of utmost displeasure with a part of your speech at the Republican National Convention. While you did not refer to us by name, in providing an assessment of the Democratic Candidate, Hillary Clinton, you made a passing comment – in an utterly dismissive tone – about a hashtag campaign in the fallout of the abduction of schoolgirls in Nigeria.

This hashtag, (#BringBackOurGirls), and the movement that drives it, remains the only consistent voice for 218 abducted young girls who have today been in the custody of their captors for 829 days. As a father of two girls, the thought of having yours in these conditions must surely be a source of horror. In those circumstances, we are certain your opinion of such a movement and utterances towards the campaign would be more measured. It is therefore highly disappointing and unfortunate that a two-time Governor and Candidate of the recently concluded Republican Presidential Primary of the United States of America would choose to play politics with the plight of innocent girls.

We take this opportunity to remind you, and other political leaders who may entertain such thoughts, that our #ChibokGirls are global citizens; with equal rights as other citizens of the world, with families that grieve daily, and are from a part of the world that is currently experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises ever. The least you should be doing is drawing attention to the urgent need for ensuring their rescue and driving actions that will lead to better outcomes for the victims of the insurgency.

We therefore demand a public apology, accompanied by a heartfelt Global Call to Action for the rescue of our #ChibokGirls and all other citizens of the world who are being held against their will. This will be the only indicator that you truly believe in the American values of freedom of life, love and the pursuit of happiness.


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