President Muhammadu Buhari, has reassured Nigerians, most especially parents of the remaining missing Chibok girl that his administration will continue to push harder until the girls are released.
He also confirmed that the Federal Government had reached out to Boko Haram terrorist group through intermediaries, the President said his administration was willing to bend backwards to ensure their safe return.
Buhari made the promise in a message to mark the third anniversary of the mass abduction of the schoolgirls carried out by members of the terror sect, Boko Haram.
The message, which he personally signed, was made available to journalists by the Presidency’s media office.
The President stated that his administration had had reasons to celebrate the return of 24 of the girls and thousands of other Nigerians who were abducted by the terrorists.
He said being a parent himself, he was grateful to God that some of the girls were found alive and had been reunited with their families.
Buhari added, “Government is doing all within its powers to reintegrate the freed girls to normal life. Furthermore, government is in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence, to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed.
“My special appreciation goes to the parents and families that have endured three years of agony and waiting for the return of their children. I feel what you feel. Your children are my children.
“On this solemn occasion, my appeal is that we must not lose hope on the return of our remaining schoolgirls.
“Our intelligence and security forces, who have aptly demonstrated their competence, are very much equal to the task and absolutely committed to the efforts to find and return the schoolgirls and others abducted by Boko Haram.
“I also thank the Lake Chad Basin countries, friendly nations and international partners, who at various points in the last three years have offered their support for Nigeria.
“Like I have repeatedly said, the Federal Government is willing to bend over backwards to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. We have reached out to their captors, through local and international intermediaries, and we are ever ready to do everything within our means to ensure the safe release of all the girls.
“I trust God that soon, our collective efforts will be rewarded with the safe return of our schoolgirls to their families, friends and their communities.”
Buhari described the 2014 abduction of the girls as one of the worst crimes committed against Nigeria’s citizens.
He recalled that at the inception of his administration in May 2015, the militant group occupied no fewer than 14 Local Government Areas in the North-East of the country and posed a serious threat to other parts by unleashing fear and mayhem through the use of surprise and suicide bombing.
Having secured some level of success, the President promised that no group would hold the country to ransom under his watch.
Buhari stated, “Today, the group has been degraded and is no longer in a position to mount any serious, coordinated attack, other than sporadic suicide attacks on soft targets.