We Don’t Know Where The Abducted Girls Are, But We Will Get Them Out – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday declared that his government was at a loss on the exact location the abducted students of Government Girls Secondary School Chibok were being held.

Speaking, during his seventh media chat, Jonathan said the capacity of the Nigerian military was eroded by more than 20 years of under funding prior to the outbreak of the Boko Haram insurgency, but nevertheless reiterated government determination to quash the insurgency which he said is not unique to Nigeria.

“They are capable. Therefore, we need to recruit more,” he said of the military. There is a memo I just treated last night about the request to recruit more soldiers and train them properly. In terms of increasing the number and capacity of the armed forces, everybody knows that we have increased the capacity in terms of number and equipment. Unfortunately, this country for quite some time, we have not been equipping our armed forces that much because we have never had challenges in this issue before Boko Haram came.

He added that the country was tapping the support of other countries and world leaders, including President Barack Obama of the United States who he said he has spoken to twice for support.


“In terms of our security challenges, we are talking to several heads of state all over the world. United States is number one. I have personally discussed with President Barrack Obama at least two times and I requested for one assistance or the other. We are operating with them on another level,” he said.

“Aside the United States of America, I have discussed with presidents of France, Chad, Niger and we have been discussing because we are going to do anything to ensure we bring this terrorism to an end. We have to stop this madness called Boko Haram.”

President Jonathan however refuted claims attributed to him that Boko Haram had infiltrated his cabinet even as he gave a robust defence of his administration’s anti-corruption posture just as he chided the legislature of politicking with many of its probes.

“As a nation, we are having our fair share of these challenges. But let me use this unique opportunity to thank and appreciate Nigerians for their concern and their commitment to, as a nation, get over these challenges. I promise that we will get over our challenges,” Jonathan said.

Also commenting on the activities of the Boko Haram sect, he expressed optimism that his administration will do its best to reduce their activities drastically.

He said: “Starting from the Boko Haram, especially the last two bombings at Nyanya, it is quite worrisome because it came at a time we never expected. The security personnel have done well. If you have the information of the number of bombing plans of Boko Haram that security agents have frustrated, you will appreciate them (security operatives). When you read that lives have been lost and property destroyed, you will be amazed and people express anger on government. Let me assure them that we will continue to do our best and reduce this drastically.”

Calling on parents and guardians of the abducted school girls to provide useful information that will assist security personnel find the girls, he said: “On the school girls that were kidnapped, it is getting up to three weeks now, one thing that we know is that from April 24, the security personnel have been searching everywhere. They know that this thing happened in Borno State, and Borno State is where we have the highest number of the terrorists called Boko Haram. If this thing had happened in another state and security personnel were moved, the whole world would have seen a lot of mobilization. Security personnel are already on ground. All the information given to us, we have searched the places, we have used helicopter to search the surfaces.”

Speaking further, he said: “We promise that wherever these girls are, we will surely get them out. The good thing is that there is no story that any of the girls have been hurt, injured or dead. I really sympathize with the parents and guardians of these girls. We are all fathers and mothers. Let us reassure them that we will get their daughters. I recently held a security meeting with the service chiefs and I also sent for the governor of Borno State, who came with the Commissioner for Education and the principal of the school and we had some useful discussion with them.

“We believe that wherever these girls are, we will get them out. What we request is maximum cooperation from the parents and the guardians of these girls. Up till this time, they have not been able to come out clearly to give the police the identity of the girls that are to return. The police have records of 44 of them, while the principal mentioned to me on Saturday night that 53 have returned but the police have record of 44. I recently set up a committee to go to Borno State, we will provide the security.

“We are pleading that the parents should cooperate with government, we will need the identities, including their photographs. We are also talking to neighboring countries so that wherever they take those girls to, we will surely get them back if we get the maximum cooperation from the parents and guardians. Let me reassure Nigerians that we will get the girls out, we appreciate the concern shown by Nigerians and globally. We see what they are doing in terms of protest, which is quite healthy.”

The president also disclosed that more than 80% of the abducted girls are Christians.


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