- We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them.
President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, may have yesterday dashed hopes of parents of the over 200 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls that his administration would easily secure the release of the victims, when he said that he might not be able to rescue them.
In a statement he personally signed to mark the first anniversary of the abduction of the girls by the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014, Buhari said he could not promise ever rescuing the girls, rather he would ensure he ends Boko Haram insurgency. He, however, commiserated with the parents and relatives of the girls and promised better education for their children.
Buhari said: “Today, we remember the kidnapping of 276 girls from a school in Chibok one year ago. This crime has rightly caused outrage both in Nigeria and across the world. Today is a time to reflect on the pain and suffering of the victims, their friends and families. Our thoughts and prayers, and that of the whole Nigerian nation, are with you today.
“I want to assure all of them, and particularly the parents, that when my new administration takes office at the end of May, we will do everything we can to defeat Boko Haram. We will act differently from the government we replace: we hear the anguish of our citizens and intend to respond accordingly.
“This new approach must also begin with honesty. We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued. Their whereabouts remain unknown. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them. But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my government will do everything in its power to bring them home, he said.
Buhari continued: “What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that starting on the first day of my administration, Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to ridding this nation of terror, and bringing back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas.
“Boko Haram” means ‘Western Education is Sinful.’ When they are defeated militarily, as they will be, we will ensure our citizens in the affected areas have improved educational opportunities as a direct counterbalance to Boko Haram’s twisted ideology. In particular, we will educate more young girls, ensuring they are empowered as citizens of Nigeria. Let us use this anniversary to remind each other that the attack on Chibok was an attack on the dreams and aspirations of our young people.
“We stand united in our pledge to resist terror in Nigeria– not just through military, means but also through the power of opportunity and the hope of a better future for all,” he said.
The girls who were writing their Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations, SSCE in Chibok, Borno State, were kidnapped by members of Boko Haram group on April 14, 2014.