President Muhammadu Buhari has assured families of the kidnapped Chibok girls that the country’s security and intelligence community is making a lot of efforts using backroom channels to get them back to their families.
It would be recalled that the Boko Haram insurgents had invaded Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, and kidnapped 276 female students from the school hostel on April 14, 2014.
Since then, a total of 164 students have returned through various means including escapes, rescues, prisoner swaps and ransom negotiations.
President Buhari had during his campaign in 2015, promised to get the girls back, but five years after his win, 112 of the girls remain in captivity, leading to many accusing his government of failed promises regarding the war on terror.
With the sixth anniversary of the girls’ abduction coming up on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, President Buhari in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, said the issue of the girls is not a forgotten issue.
President Buhari regrets that the current Covid-19 pandemic, with restrictions on movement, makes it impossible for any government delegation to be with them during the event.
He, however, assures the people of Chibok that he is still mindful of their welfare and their concerns, especially regarding our daughters who are still missing.
“The issue of the Chibok girls is not a forgotten issue. We cannot go to sleep over this matter. We are optimistic that ongoing efforts will yield something positive,” President Buhari assured.
“The armed forces of the country who are on general operations in the entire region continue in their hope that they would encounter these girls, as they did thousands of other hostages, rescue and bring them back home.
President Buhari explained that in the past few years, the country’s armed forces have recorded huge successes in the battle against Boko Haram, but they have also been careful to ensure that as few civilian lives as possible were lost in the process.
“We would rather the young women still in captivity were freed alive.”
President Buhari also reflected on the progress being made by the freed ‘Chibok girls’, who were sponsored by his administration to study at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, saying that he is proud of what they are doing.
He encourages them to remain focused on their studies and on this unique opportunity that has been given to them by God, following their horrific time in captivity.
President Buhari also commends Yakubu Nkeki, Lawan Zannah and Yana Galang, the executive officials of the Association of the Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok, on their steadfast efforts to advocate for the welfare of the parents, the freed women, and those still in captivity.