The highest advisory body to Nigeria’s president, the Council of State, on Tuesday said that it had been assured by the military that the over 200 schoolgirls held captive by the Boko Haram sect since they were abducted on April 14, 2014 will regain their freedom very soon.
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State made the disclosure while addressing State House correspondents after their meeting in Abuja, alongside his Edo and Kaduna counterparts, Adams Oshiomole and Ramalan Yero.
The governors said that while the security situation in the country topped the agenda of the meeting, President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), briefed the Council of State on the steps being taken in the rescue operation of the girls.
Akpabio said, “Top on the security was the rescue of Chibok girls, which military authorities also confirmed that efforts were being made and that very soon we will have good news. It was also heartwarming to note that the issue is not whether we can rescue the girls, but the issue is how can we rescue them in a way that we can ensure their safety so that we don’t end up in the attempt to rescue them, we endanger their lives.
“What also came out is the need for Nigerians to be patient, because terrorism is a new challenge in Nigeria and it is not something that goes away immediately and we have to be meticulous in our approach and make sure that we take the best steps forward to reduce and minimise possible loss of lives in an attempt to curb the insurgents”.
The Akwa Ibom governor said that the Council expressed satisfaction that the security agents knew where the girls were located and were on top of situation.
“The other issue was the general security of the nation and this is to assure the public that the military authorities, working in concert with the governors of various states of the federation are on top of the situation and that we require patience, cooperation in order to bring the situation to an end”, he said.
Akpabio said that the Council also stressed the need for all Nigerians to be vigilant wherever they reside, saying that security was everybody’s business.
He said, “You have to know your neighbor and understand your environment and report any suspicious movement to security agents. We commended the security agents who are on top of the situation and we are happy that very serious efforts are being made.
“All necessary equipment that will enable us bring this insurgency to an end are being procured by the federal government and the council was satisfied that Mr President is on top of the situation and he is taking this issue of insurgency very seriously and sooner than later, Nigerians will see an end to this problem”.
He also stated that another issue, which came up for discussion at the meeting, was the appointment of certain commissioners in the National Population Commission and that the states that had not filled their quota were today (yesterday) ratified and approved.
“The Council was duly consulted in line with the constitutional provision, for Ekiti State, Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi, where their commissioners were ratified and approved by Council”, he said.