A day after the National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, raised hope of the rescue of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls before the May 29 terminal date of the current administration, troops yesterday headed for Sambisa Forest where the girls are believed to be kept.
The girls were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists on April 14, 2014 from their hostel while writing their Senior Secondary Scholl Certificate Examination, SSSCE in Chibok, Borno State.
Coordinating spokesman of the National Information Centre, NIC, Mr. Mike Omeri, disclosed the troops’ movement in Abuja yesterday, during the weekly security briefing of the centre as he gave an update on the search for the missing Chibok girls.
Omeri, who is also the Director-General of National Orientation Agency, NOA, said the military’s movement to Sambisa Forest is made easy after crushing the terrorists at Alagarno, Gwoza, Bama, Malam Fatori, Abadam towns and villages, among others.
He said: “In recent months, our security agencies have made significant gains in their counterinsurgency efforts, with the arrest and prosecution of the suspects of the Nyanya bombings as well as the liberation of 40 communities from the control of Boko Haram. At present, the military is moving into the Sambisa Forest after taking Alagarno, Gwoza, Bama, Malam Fatori, Abadam, among others.
“The fortification of the border routes by other members of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, has also played a key role in these successes. Our intelligence indicates that the present military operation is focused in the area where the girls are believed to be held.
“The government is committed to returning and resettling people from the affected communities as soon as possible. It is also in the process of revamping the economies of these local communities, while guaranteeing safety and security. At present, the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the six North-Eastern states and those displaced in neighbouring countries are being provided for by the government through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and other agencies,” he said.
Omeri said it was noteworthy that on Tuesday, the anniversary of the abduction was marked.
He hinted that the Federal Government used the occasion to meet with some parents of the abducted girls, adding that it was a fruitful and constructive event.
Omeri said the Federal Government recognised that the public has the right to know what it is doing to defeat Boko Haram and find the girls, stressing that is the reason NIC has consistently been opened and accessible to the media.
He expressed the government’s appreciation of the commitment of soldiers, other security personnel and well-meaning Nigerians whose efforts and sacrifice had put Boko Haram on the run.
“This is a pointer that collectively we can rid our country of terrorism and all other crimes. This way, the war-with its terror and the tragedy of it-will soon come to an end,” Omeri said.
Col. Dasuki had said on Tuesday that the missing Chibok girls could still be rescued by the military before the end of the Jonathan administration, adding that the liberation of Sambisa Forest was delayed by certain factors.

READ ALSO  Nigeria mobilises troops against Gambia’s Jammeh