Precisely 640 days after the Boko Haram terrorist group kidnapped over 200 female students from their dormitory at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok, Borno state, the present administration has responded to the pleas of the girls' parents.
Leadership reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, January 14, ordered a fresh investigation into the abduction of the girls.
Reports have it that the panel that will investigate the incident is to be named by the national security adviser (NSA) General Babagana Munguno.
The presidential senior special assistant on media, Garba Shehu, in a statement said the panel is to uncover the remote and immediate circumstances that led to the abduction of the female students by the terrorists and also other events, actions and inactions that accompanied the incident.
Speaking earlier at a meeting attended by some parents of the abducted girls, representatives of the Chibok community and members of the Bring Back Our Girls movement at the Conference Hall of the State House, the president said he has been doing his best and promised to continue to do everything possible to rescue the children and re-unite them with their families.
President Buhari said that he remained unwavering in his promise to bring back the girls.
“I assure you that I go to bed and wake up everyday with the Chibok girls on my mind. The unfortunate incident happened before this government came into being.What have we done since we assumed office? We re-organized the military, removed all the service chiefs and ordered the succeeding service chiefs to deal decisively with the Boko Haram insurgency.
“In spite of the terrible economic condition we found ourselves in, we tried to get some resources to give to the military to reorganize and equip, retrain, deploy more troops and move more forcefully against Boko Haram.
“And you all know the progress we have made. When we came in Boko Haram was in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Boko Haram has now been reduced to areas around Lake Chad.
“Securing the Chibok girls is my responsibility. The service chiefs and heads of our security agencies will tell you that in spite of the dire financial straits that we found the country in, I continue to do my best to support their efforts in that regard.
“This is a Nigeria where we were exporting average of two million barrels per day at over 140 dollars per barrel. Now it is down to about 27 to 30 dollars.
“You have been reading in the press how they took public funds, our funds, your funds and shared it, instead of buying weapons. That was the kind of leadership I succeeded. That was the kind of economy I inherited. God knows I have done my best and I will continue to do my best,” President Buhari said.
Other top dignitaries at the meeting with the girls parents included the minister of defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, the minister of women affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, the chief of defence staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of army staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, and the national security adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd).
Speaking also at the meeting, Gen Olonisakin disclosed that in the last three months the military has freed over 3,000 people from Boko Haram captivity in the northeastern part of Nigeria.
He claimd that the military has the ability to rescue the girls, but noted that: “intelligence is delicate and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the lives of the girls.”
Legit.ng had earlier reported that parents of the abducted Chibok school girls marched to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to protest the whereabouts of the missing school girls. It was reported that during the meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari stormed out.
The Chibok girls were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group in April 2014, who stormed their school in the community located in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. The incident sparked many reactions from both international communities and neighbouring countries within the West Africa region. It has not been ascertained if the girls are still alive or where they are being kept.