Presidency: Chibok girls not within easy grasp
The Presidency says it is misleading of anyone to preach that the over 200 abducted Chibok girls are within easy grasp.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said in a statement yesterday that if the military knew where the missing schoolgirls were kept, they would bring them home.
He appealed to officials and members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group not to waver in their support for the government in the war against terrorism and ongoing efforts to free all citizens abducted by the Boko Haram.
He faulted recent claims by the BBOG group that Buhari had broken all promises made to them about rescuing the missing girls and that government had been lackadaisical in the rescue mission.
The presidential aide said Buhari would never make bogus promises or play to the gallery.
“The past year of this administration has seen the Nigerian military step up bombardment of the Sambisa Forest, a stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorist group, leading to the capture of hundreds of insurgents. Also, records from the army show the rescue of no fewer than 15,000 captives, mostly women and children from the terrorists from February to date.
“In addition, dozens of communities that were previously under the control of the terrorists have been liberated, allowing thousands of previously displaced citizens to return home and resume their normal lives. However, their liberation is just as important as that of every other missing woman and child, and a testament to the devotion of our military personnel who daily risk life and limb in the effort to bring back every Nigerian citizen kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists,” he said.
Shehu said along the ongoing efforts to rid Nigeria of terrorists and terrorism, the federal government was focused on the welfare and rehabilitation of rescued Nigerians, many of whom were found in a state of severe malnutrition and illness.
“While their intentions are honourable, perhaps the BBOG leadership have not considered the collateral damage which must inevitably follow its riveting and dispiriting claim that the president has ‘broken all promises’ allegedly made to the group on this issue. Or that he has been ‘lackadaisical’ in rescuing the Chibok girls. The federal government’s focus has always been to free the Chibok girls alive and unharmed,” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari (right) and Former President, African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka during an audience at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday. Photo: Felix Onigbinde