ICC Note: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari continues to receive flack from all sides after claiming that the Nigerian military has “won the war” against Boko Haram. His latest group of critics includes the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign to whom Buhari has promised to rescue the missing girls. Buhari has contradicted himself, once saying that victory could not be complete without a return of the girls, then recently saying that Boko Haram is “technically defeated.”
By Conor Gaffey
1/6/15 Nigeria (Newsweek) – The leaders of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign have slammed Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for claiming that Nigeria has defeated Boko Haram, Nigerian news site Naij reported.
The militant group kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria, on April 14, 2014. The tragedy sparked an international campaign to return the girls, promoted with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. After 631 days, however, only 57 girls have managed to escape, with 219 still missing and none rescued by the Nigerian military.
Buhari told the BBC on December 24 that “technically, we [the Nigerian military] have won the war” against Boko Haram, claiming that the militants had been reduced to using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and were no longer capable of launching large-scale military attacks. In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, however, Buhari said that Nigeria could not claim to have defeated Boko Haram “without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.” But, in his first Presidential media chat on December 30 Buhari admitted that the federal government lacked intelligence on the girls’ whereabouts.