By JAMES EZEMA
It was a moment of emotional outburst at the weekend after a failed attempt by two aggrieved mothers of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, Mrs Esther Yakubu and Mrs. Rebecca Samuel, to enter the Presidential Villa to see President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mrs Yakubu is the mother of Miss Dorcas Yakubu, while Mrs Samuel is the mother of Miss Sarah Samuel, two girls among the 276 girls captured from Government Secondary School (GSS), Chibok, a Borno State town in North Eastern Nigeria by Boko Haram militants on 14 April 2014.
It was exactly three years after the abduction on Friday and the distressed mothers, impatient as they were, made their way to the Presidential Villa in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during a silent protest match by the duo.
However, a mild drama ensued at the Villa gate when their mission was thwarted by security agents who manned the far Federal Secretariat end of the Villa.
As the peeved mothers were disallowed from entering the Villa by security agents, Mrs Yakubu queried: “Is it because we are poor? (Kidnapped) Lagos school children were rescued by the Police, but our children have not been released. Why?”
Brushing aside a police officer standing on her way, she attempted to move on but was again barred by policemen, who pleaded with the them to be patient with the government and return home.
When it became obvious that the visibly disturbed mothers were seriously committed to their mission, one of the police officers radioed his superior, probably urging him to come to the scene.
While the policemen persuaded the women to wait for a senior officer who could take them to the Presidency, a security van with police reinforcement arrived.
One of the Police officers on radio” I have been able to convince the women; you know that it is not easy to enter the villa like that.
Soon, their superior who did not immediately identified himself, arrived. While he pleaded with the women to consider meeting the President on a later date, a man identified himself as Special Adviser (SA) – Protocol – to President Buhari, also arrived the scene.
The SA took time to urge the women to first write a letter to see Mr. President, promising to deliver it to President Buhari, arguing that the President was indisposed.
“If the President is not around, I want to see the Vice President”, Mrs Yakubu retorted.
“Today is a public holiday, you can’t see him now”, the Presidential adviser replied.
“If can’t see the President can I see the wife of the President?”, the woman responded.
“Well, if you want to see the wife, come on Tuesday. You can’t see her just like this. She is not expecting you”, the President’s adviser responded.
“If you tell her that a mother is here she will be happy to see me because she is a mother too. And she can feel the pain I’m in”, the woman responded.
“We all are feeling the pain too”, the presidential adviser said.
“But she said people can see her any time, that she will not be like Jonathan wife”, the woman recalled.
“Well, even if she said that before she came here, security agencies will not allow that”, the adviser replied.
The desperate mother quickly responded “But you are here, you can lead me to her”
President Buhari’s protocol adviser said: “That is a law here as I said … ok, I will give you my number, you can write to her, and I will take it to her. She is going to call you on phone”.
Mrs Yakubu on taking the number returned to meet the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy movement alongside some family members, including their husbands and the Chairman of the Chibok Community in Abuja, Hosea Tsambido.
On meeting the waiting members of BBOG, tears flew freely as most of the BBOG member burst into tears on receiving the weeping mothers.
BBOG leaders, Oby Ezekwesili, Aisha Yusuf, among others were not left out in the outburst of tears in what seemed as a mission unaccomplished.