President Muhammadu Buhari

1,000 Days: President Buhari recommits to return of Chibok Schoolgirls

By Ismaila Chafe

Abuja  –  President Muhammadu Buhari has recommitted the Federal Government to securing the release of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents, 1,000 days ago.

Buhari gave the reassurance in a statement to commemorate the 1,000th day of the abduction of the schoolgirls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno.

The statement was issued in Abuja on Sunday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

He expressed gratitude to God on this landmark day that the nation was not completely in the depths of despair, but buoyed with hope that the girls would yet rejoin their families and loved ones.

“We are grateful to God that on this landmark day, we are not completely in the depths of despair, but buoyed with hope that our daughters will yet rejoin their families and loved ones.

“Three of them have been recovered by our diligent military, while the freedom of 21 others was secured through engagement with their captors.

“We are hopeful that many more will still return as soon as practicable,” he said.

He reiterated his pledge, pronounced many times in the past, that government would not spare any effort to reunite the girls with their families.

“I salute the fortitude of the distraught parents. As a parent also, I identify with their plight. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned to years, and today, it is 1,000 days.

“The tears never dry, the ache is in our hearts. But hope remains constant, eternal, and we believe our pains will be assuaged.

“Our hopes will not be shattered, and our hearts will leap for joy, as more and more of our daughters return. It is a goal we remain steadfastly committed to,’’ he added.

On the occasion of the 1,000 days, President Buhari commended all who have been in the vanguard for the recovery of the girls, both nationally and internationally.

The president also reassured that the nation’s intelligence and security forces had redoubled their efforts toward ensuring speedy recovery of the remaining girls and others in captivity.

“Someday soon, we will all rejoice together. Our intelligence and security forces are unrelenting, and whatever it takes, we remain resolute.

“Chibok community, Nigeria, and, indeed, the world, will yet rise in brotherhood, to welcome our remaining girls back home. We trust God for that eventuality.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 276 school girls were abducted when members of Boko Haram terrorists stormed their boarding school in Chibok town in Borno in 2014.

No fewer than 50 had escaped in the initial days after the abduction, while another one, Amina Ali, was found roaming around the Sambisa forest with a baby and a man who claimed to be her husband.

NAN also reports that Rakiya Abubakar, another rescued Chibok girls, was the latest recovery made by the Nigeria Army on Thursday in the Alagarno area of Damboa Local Government Area of Borno.

The Federal Government in October successfully secured the release of the 21 Chibok school girls after months of negotiation with their captors.

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