– Buhari says he won’t rest until the remaining are reunited with their families.
– He says the interlocutors have reported encouraging progress so far on Leah Sharibu’s abduction.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday reminded the parents of the schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State that he has still not forgotten their daughters who were kidnapped from their dormitory five years ago (April 14, 2014).
While also reminding that he promised the parents when he met them at the beginning of his first term as president, assuring that he would bring their daughters home said he is aware of the promise he made, being the main reason the people of Chibok voted overwhelmingly for him in the February elections.
While noting that his government has so far succeeded in bringing back 107 of the girls, the President said he won’t rest until the remaining are reunited with their families.
Noting that his administration is still on the matter, president Buhari stated that 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.
On Leah Sharibu’s abduction, he said that 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, Buhari assured.
He added that 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.
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While stating that another similar mass surrender of militants is expected to happen soon in Nigeria, President Buhari noted that 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.
The president, therefore, uses the 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.