Thursday, 13 April 2017

We are willing to bend over backwards to secure Chibok girls’ release – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the Federal Government is willing to bend over backwards to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. The President, in his message on the third anniversary of the Chibok girls’ abduction, said the government is negotiating with Boko Haram secure the release of more of the school girls who were abducted in April 2014. He, however, vowed that no group would be allowed to hold Nigeria to ransom again. President Buhari said, “Like I have repeatedly said, the Federal Government is willing to bend over backwards to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. We have reached out to their captors, through local and international intermediaries, and we are ever ready to do everything within our means to ensure the safe release of all the girls. “I wish to reassure the parents of the Chibok girls, all well-meaning Nigerians, organisations and the international community that as a government, we are unrelenting on the issue of the safe return of our children. “I trust God that soon, our collective efforts will be rewarded with the safe return of our schoolgirls to their families, friends and their communities.” “Nigeria suffered one of the worst crimes committed against its citizens – the abduction of schoolgirls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, by the vicious terrorist and insurgent group, Boko Haram. “Upon the inception of this administration in May 2015, it will be recalled that this militant group occupied no fewer than 14 local government areas in the North East of the country and posed a serious threat to other parts by unleashing fear and mayhem through the use of surprise and suicide bombing. “The menace of this terrorist group was a great challenge to the resolve of our administration to implement the Change Agenda. We, therefore, pledged to reverse the situation, which constituted a threat to the sovereignty of the country. “We were determined to secure the release of the Chibok girls and others forcefully abducted from their homes and communities and retake the occupied territories. “Determined to secure the freedom of the abducted girls and recover lost territories, this administration gave the necessary political and logistical backing which energised gallant members of our armed forces and other security agencies to overrun the headquarters of Boko Haram in the Sambisa Forest and scatter the terrorists from their strong base.” According to him, the group today, has been degraded and is no longer in a position to mount any serious, coordinated attack, other than sporadic suicide attacks on soft targets. Their reach, he said, is very much confined to a small segment of the North East where they had previously held sway unchecked. Stressing that Nigeria and the entire world must recognise that terrorism has no borders, the President said the menace remained a growing concern which calls for collective efforts to curtail. He called on all Nigerians and residents in the country, to remain extra vigilant and report any suspicious element or group to the security agencies. “We cannot afford to let down our guards. Under my watch, no group will hold the country to ransom,” he added.

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