By Nasir Kura
On the fifth year anniversary, President Muhammadu Buhari assured parents of the school girls 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).
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the president said he’s aware that his promise to rescue the girls is the main reason the people of Chibok voted overwhelmingly for him in the February elections.
He said although the government has so far succeeded in bringing back 107 of the girls, he would not rest until the remaining are reunited with their families.
The president assured the parents that his administration is still on the matter, and 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.
He said the interlocutors have reported encouraging progress on Leah Sharibu’s abduction, saying her return to her family has 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 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.
“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,” the statement said.