President Muhammadu Buhari had urged the world that within the first year of his tenure, he’d ensure Chibok girls are found.
Just two of these have been located so far.
According to the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, “Liberation [of the Chibok girls] is just as important as that of every other missing woman and child.
“This gives testament to the devotion of our military personnel who daily risk life and limb in the effort to bring back every Nigerian citizen kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists.
“In the past year, this administration has stepped up bombardment of the Sambisa Forest.
“The forest is a stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorist group, leading to the capture of hundreds of insurgents.
“The Presidency will like to appeal to officials and members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group.
“They should not waver in their support for the government in the war against terrorism.
“And in the ongoing effort to free all Nigerian citizens taken captive by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“Thousands of these women and children freed from captivity have also been reunited with their families.
“This huge number of rescued women and children may not be prominent names, and their disappearance may not have generated any massive media attention and campaign.
“Records from the Army show the rescue of no fewer than 15,000 captives, mostly women and children from Boko Haram.
“In addition, dozens of communities that were previously under the control of the terrorists have been liberated.
“Thousands of previously displaced citizens have returned home and resumed their normal lives.
The BringBackOurGirls group claims in a recent statement that President Muhammadu Buhari has ‘broken all promises’ made to the group about rescuing the missing Chibok girls and that the government had been ‘lackadaisical’ in the rescue mission.
Shehu stated that “Along with these ongoing efforts to rid our country of terrorists and terrorism, the Nigerian government is focused on the welfare and rehabilitation of rescued Nigerians.
“Many of these were found in a state of severe malnutrition and illness.
“While their intentions are honorable, perhaps the BBOG leadership have not considered the collateral damage which must inevitably follow its riveting and dispiriting claim that the President has “broken all promises” allegedly made to the group on this issue.
“Or that he has been “lackadaisical” in rescuing the Chibok girls. The Federal Government’s focus has always been to free the Chibok girls alive and unharmed.
“The President is conscious about the fact that terrorism in Nigeria is part of a global phenomenon.
“Since coming to office, his response to it has been firm and well considered.
“President Buhari will never make bogus promises or play to the gallery.
“It is misleading of anyone to preach that the Chibok girls are within an easy grasp.
“If the military under the President knew where they are held, they will bring the Chibok girls home today.
“The Presidency is open to renewed cooperation with the BBOG group.
“We will also work with international bodies, religious groups, social workers, and all others who are assisting in the field.
“We want to ensure that those who have so far been rescued from Boko Haram captivity are given the support they need to make a full recovery and be reintegrated fully into society,” the presidency stated.