The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has expressed optimism that the Chibok school girls would be rescued alongside every other Nigerian kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The Air Chief’s assurances of the Chibok school girls’ rescue came on the heels of a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo that it would be foolhardy of anyone to claim the girls, who were abducted almost two years ago by the insurgents, would be rescued alive.
“Anyone saying they (Chibok girls) will return is telling lies, maybe some of them will return to tell their story”, the ex-president was quoted as saying at an event tagged “An Evening with Obasanjo”, organized by the Staff Club of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Friday.
Air Marshal Abubakar, who was speaking when he inspected various on-going projects of the Nigerian Air Force at its Tactical Air Command (TAC) in Makurdi, Benue State, at the weekend, said everything was being done to rescue hostages from Boko Haram hold.
“What I can tell you is that we are doing everything humanly possible to deal with all the challenges that there are in the current insurgency going on, that of course involves our trying to locate not only the Chibok girls but every Nigerian that is kidnapped. We are working day and night through intelligence gathering and surveillance. We are expending a lot of flying hours to make sure we are able to locate Chibok girls and every Nigerian that is kidnapped”, he said.
The Air Chief, who expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at various stages in the command, said the projects were being executed to provide the right environment for personnel in the fight against insurgents in the northeast.
Abubakar stressed that the impact of the Air Force against the insurgents in recent times indicated that the Nigerian military was winning the fight because, “We are there degrading the capacity of the insurgents and also ensuring that the surface force, (the Army) is able to operate with little or no hindrance, and so all the units involved are doing everything to impact positively on what is going on in the northeast”.