The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has assured that the over 276 schoolgirls abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State would be rescued and return to their parents very soon.
Thisday reports that Obanikoro made this disclosure at the graduation ceremony of 404 retirees drawn from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigerian Navy (NN) collectively held at Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos at the weekend.
The former Nigerian ambassador in Ghana made this statement while responding to allegations that the rescue efforts for the schoolgirls had slowed down, saying the federal government is working assiduously to rescue them at all cost.
Obanikoro however, did not give details on the form of rescue that would come the way of the kidnapped students who have spent two months in captivity.
* Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro
It could be recalled that the schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents inside their school’s dormitory on 14 April, 2014 and since then, the militant group had said it would only release them in a swap with some of its members captured by the Nigerian soldiers.
The Nigerian federal government led by President Goodluck Jonathan has continuously stated that it would not negotiate with the terrorists but wage war against the militants.
* Nigerian soldiers
While giving the assurance of the Chibok girl’s rescue, Obanikoro said President Goodluck Jonathan was pained by the abduction of the girls and was doing everything humanly possible to ensure that the abducted girls are rescued and returned to their parents.
* Kidnapped schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State
He said: “Let me say that as a father, all hands are on deck to ensure that those girls are brought back. I know, because I see the president everyday and I know he is pained that those girls are out there.
“All it takes to appreciate what the president is going through is to sit back and switch roles, so you can imagine the pain. I am also pained because I have daughters and I would not want them abducted for anything and having said that I want to let you know that everything humanly possible is being done to return those girls.”
Nigerians both home and abroad have been staging protests and demonstrations since the abduction of the schoolgirls in Borno.
A High court in Abuja last week ruled that the Nigeria police did not have a right to ban people from staging protests over the continued abduction of the girls.
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