The presidency has released a statement in commemoration of the fifth year anniversary of the kidnap of schoolgirls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.
President Muhammadu Buhari said that his administration is intensifying efforts to secure the safe return of the schoolgirls to their families.
April 14, 2019, will mark five years since over 100 girls were kidnapped suspected Boko Haram insurgents.
Below are major takeaways from the President’s statement:
- The President has not forgotten the kidnapped girls and is doing everything to ensure their safe return to their families.
- Efforts are being intensified to secure the release of the Chibok Girls, along with all hostages in Boko Haram captivity, including Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped from her school, in Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2018.
- There is progress on Leah Sharibu’s case however, heavy military presence in areas where Boko Haram previously moved about freely has hindered the return of Leah to the government.
- Security agencies are unwilling to risk the security of the entire north-eastern region by halting their operations in order to accommodate Boko Haram’s fears.
- Talks with the terrorist group have been affected by factionalization of the group – with one group adopting a hard-line attitude and intensifying attacks on Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, and another group engaging with the government for peaceful resolution.
Bottom Line: For a country infamous for its act of forgetting, the kidnap of the Chibok girls is a case that has remained in the national consciousness for so long. The credit for this has to go to the #BringBackOurGirls movement which has sustained activism on the matter all these many years.