Indications have emerged that the Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Aisha Yesufu, was forced to resign.
Yesufu had tendered her resignation as the leader of the group, creating the impression that she was leaving willingly.
She had on August 1, 2017 made the decision to quit her position public on her Twitter handle. She tweeted: “Today i step aside for my sis Ms Florence Ozor @FlorenceOzor to take over as the new Chairperson. In our leader @obyezeks we have a teacher.”
However, sources told The Eagle Online that Yesufu, whose group is agitating for the return of the schoolgirls kidnapped from their hostel in Chibok, Borno State by the Boko Haram sect, was forced to resign based on her criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari in a video on her Twitter handle on May 19, 2017.
Highly reliable sources close to her and the group said after the open criticism by some members of the group over her call on Buhari to resign, which she said she did in her personal and not official capacity, there were indications that some members were going to remove her.
One of the sources said: “The pressure had been on since she posted the interview that Buhari should step aside to attend to his health.
“She was bitterly criticised for her call on Buhari to resign as president.
“It is not unlikely that government has deeply penetrated the group as many members of the body are in open support of the establishment.
“At a meeting we held before her resignation, members seriously contested the continued leadership of the #BBOG by Aisha Yesufu, hence the decision to make her step down.
“This was effected in order to avoid an outright vote of no confidence and to preserve the integrity of the group.”
A source said it had now become obvious that the group is now divided the pro and anti establishment forces.
The source insisted that Yesufu and a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, are the only minority voices still upholding the values that established the group, adding: “Many others have accepted a softer stance on the administration.”
In the controversial post on her Twitter handle, Yesufu had said: “When are we going to realise that this Acting President (arrangement) is really not just working out? Things are stagnant in Nigeria. For crying out loud, the President is sick, the President is not capable of discharging his duties as President. Why can’t he resign?
“Sickness can happen to anybody; nobody is wishing the President bad. The fact that he is sick does not mean he is going to die today or tomorrow; even someone who is as healthy as I am can drop dead. That is life.
“But for crying out loud, for how long are we going to wait and keep watching everything go into disarray? Who is going to sign the budget? We don’t know. The report on Babachir Lawal (SGF), what is happening to it? Why are we being held to ransom?
“It’s not about you, Mr President. Can you just take some time off to take care of yourself? May God give you good health, may God have mercy on you. What you are going through is from God and people go through it in different ways, but please, Mr. President, do not allow this to keep the rest of us in bondage.
“And for us Nigerians, it is time we woke up. The Acting President cannot do anything because he wants to be seen as a good man. We need to take our country back. Let the President resign and if he cannot resign, let the National Assembly do the right thing and let us have another President.
“It is not about President Muhammadu Buhari, it’s about Nigeria and right now, Nigeria is suffering and we cannot continue to allow this. Please, we have a lot of people who are supposed to be sacked but they cannot be sacked.”
After the post, a member of the BBOG, Waziri Bello, said they were shocked to hear such comments coming from their leader.
Bello, who spoke with the Hausa Service of the BBBC, said this could go a long way in depicting the comments as the position of the group.
He told BBC: “Most of us at the group were disappointed by her comments.
“Firstly, she said as a citizen that she was speaking for her own opinion.
“But we kicked against that because as the leader of this movement, whatever she says reflects us as the group.
“And then for her to come out and make this kind of comment could not be differentiated by the general public from this group and would consider it our stance.”
Bello said Yesufu’s position now portrayed her as a politician as it is a departure from the focus of the group. He said if Yesufu has decided to turn a politician, she should leave the group to pursue her ambition.
He said: “If she wants to venture into politics, then she should resign and join politics so that she can continue to attack government.
“The 82 Chibok girls rescued have just reunited with their parents.
“So if anybody could make this call, our group should go against that person because this President was able to return 106 of our Chibok girls.
“Let us allow him to fulfill his promise to us.”
But Yesufu insisted that her comments were her personal opinion as a Nigerian.
She said: “My statement for Buhari to resign over his health issue has nothing to do with BBOG.
“It is A’ishe Yesufu’s view as a citizen of Nigeria.
“The president himself had once called on another president to resign.
“If I want to venture into politics, nobody can stop me.
“I only need to ask my husband and if he allows me, I will join.
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