Hadiza Bala Usman: I didn’t stop pushing for Chibok girls’ rescue

Hadiza Bala Usman: I didn’t stop pushing for Chibok girls’ rescue

Hadiza Bala Usman, former managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), says she never stopped campaigning for the rescue of Chibok girls and other abducted Nigerians throughout her stay in office.

Bala Usman was one of the co-founders of the #BringBackOurGirls movement which emerged following the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from the Chibok town of Borno state by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

She was appointed as the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in July 2016 and held the position until her suspension from the role in 2021.

During the commemoration of the eighth year of the abduction, the former NPA MD took to her social media page to denounce the country’s security situation under President Muhammadu Buhari while demanding the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Bala Usman said she has remained committed to the quest for the rescue of the Chibok girls even as NPA MD.

The former NPA chief said she attended several meetings with Buhari wearing her #BringBackOurGirls badge, adding that she spoke and tweeted about the security situation in the country while she was a government appointee.

“If I posted that tweet about the country’s security situation just a few weeks after the renewal of my appointment as Managing Director of the NPA in 2021, how then can anyone accuse me of just coming to speak up now? Or is it just another targeted attack on my person, sponsored by desperate people who have tried and failed to tarnish my image in the last one year. Because just a mere check on my Twitter handle would have revealed the truth, but they decided to proceed with promoting falsehood,” Bala Usman said.

“It is such that my official picture at the NPA had my BBOG badge. I attended several meetings with the President wearing my badge. I spoke about the Chibok girls and other Nigerians in captivity at every opportunity I had, including with other colleagues in government and during media interviews.”