The Federal Government, today, April 8, denied reports suggesting that the over 200 school girls kidnapped from Chibok community by members of Boko-Haram sect have been killed.
Raad Zeid al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees official, last week, said that the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by horror Boko Haram sect a year ago may have been slaughtered.
However, during a security briefing in Abuja, the Coordinator of National Information Centre (NIC), Mr Mike Omeri, denied this reports, maintaining that all hope on rescuing the girls alive is not lost yet.
He however urged Nigerians to be hopeful as recovery of the captured towns and villages by Boko Haram were still ongoing by the Nigerian Troops, urging people to disregard speculations.
Omeri said; “The search for Chibok girls continues and that is why even with capture of Bama and the rest, security and military have never relent, and until it is concluded, we cannot begins to believe speculation.
“I think the one year anniversary is next week, and we hope to give a comprehensive report on what we know so far, and how far the searching has gone.
“So, the assurance I will give you, is that everywhere is being combed and whatever element we found will be revealed to appropriate authority and nobody is going to keep anything secret.”
Mr Omeri also urged Nigerians to be vigilant during the Saturday Governorship and States House of Assembly elections.
He said military will also be ready to subdue any form of attack from the terror group.
He said: “Recall that in our statement on the eve of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, we reiterated to Nigerians the need to exercise the highest level of vigilance and also scrutinize the activities of unknown and strange persons within their environment.
“In respect of the forthcoming Governorship and State Assembly Elections, we remind the citizens to maintain a similar level of vigilance and caution to ensure a peaceful and incident – free exercise.
“As efforts are being made to ensure a hitch – free exercise, the NIC wishes to reassure Nigerians, especially those living in communities that recently experienced some security challenges arising from the activities of Boko Haram resurgence, that our military and security forces are, more than ever, very ready to ensure the protection of lives and property, while securing the country’s territorial integrity".
Speaking further on the fight against insurgents, the NIC Coordinator said the Nigerian military will continue to safeguard the communities which were reclaimed from Boko Haram attack, as those communities are still vulnerable to attacks.
”Lately, there have been reported cases of surprise attacks on some communities in the North East by the Boko Haram, but the recent siege on Alagarno, a well-known and strategic Boko Haram stronghold, has dealt a severe blow on the operations of the insurgent group which is experiencing its last days in the region.
“In a situation such as presently exists in the area, there is a high tendency for the insurgent group to suddenly aim at soft targets to destabilize communities which are regaining normalcy.
“However, the Nigerian military has continued to bring the situation under control and also safeguard the lives and property of citizens, while humanitarian assistance is being provided by appropriate authorities.
“The NIC, therefore, calls on Nigerians, particularly those living in the affected communities, to continue to support the efforts of our military and security forces at restoring normalcy in the area,” Omeri added.
The Federal government position on the abducted chibok girls, comes weeks after President Goodluck Jonathan revealed that the abducted girls are alive.
On the night of April 14-15, 2014, up to three hundred girls from different schools in northeastern Nigeria gathered for their final examinations in the town of Chibok. Instead of taking their tests, they were kidnapped. Three weeks later, on May 5, Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Unfortunately, today marked the sad date: 359 days without the Chibok girls.