President Muhammadu Buhari has yet again assured parents of Chibok Schoolgirls that they’ll be return.
On Sunday, April 14th, it will be exactly 5 years that the girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were kidnapped by members of the Boko Haram insurgency.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Buhari said the people of Chibok voted massively for him in the last presidential election, because of the promise he made to bring back the remaining girls.
Buhari said his administration has already made efforts to bring back 107 of the girls, and will not relent until the rest of the girls including Leah Sharibu, the Dapchi school girl are brought back.
“Diverse efforts are being intensified to secure the release of the Chibok Girls, along with all hostages in Boko Haram captivity, including Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped from her school, Science Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2018.”
As for Leah, the president said, “the interlocutors have reported encouraging progress so far”.
“The report reaching us says her return to her family has unfortunately been hindered by the fear of the militants.
“They worry that heavy military presence in areas where they previously moved about freely could affect their safety after they return her to the government.
“At the same time, the military cannot jeopardise the security of the entire north-eastern region by halting their operations to accommodate Boko Haram’s fears.
“Leah Sharibu will be reunited with her family as soon as any conclusions are reached on a number of options being considered for her safe transportation,” the statement said.
It said the success of the Nigerian military in subduing Boko Haram is evidenced by the large numbers of militants who have surrendered recently, especially in neighbouring Cameroon and Niger.
It said a similar mass surrender of militants is expected to happen soon in Nigeria.
“While Nigerian military operations are ongoing, the government is also engaging with the militants but the talks have been affected by the factionalisation of Boko Haram – with one group adopting a hard-line attitude and intensifying attacks on Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, and another group engaging with the government for peaceful resolution.
“President Buhari also uses this opportunity of the commemoration of the Chibok tragedy to commend the girls, now women, who have triumphed over it all.
“He sends special greetings to the 106 girls sponsored by the Nigerian government to continue their studies at the American University of Nigeria, Yola.
“He encourages them to stay focused on becoming women, who will inspire girls in Nigeria and around the world to triumph over the daily battles they face in a world that is often unfair to the girl-child,” the statement said.