President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Damaturu, Yobe State capital explained the steps taken by his administration in ensuring the release of schoolgirls abducted in Dapchi, Yobe State.
President Buhari in his address at the Government House in Damaturu said the efforts of his administration were a better response compared to the response of the previous administrations over the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State.
The President described the efforts of his administration as “the best in the given circumstances.”
Former President Goodluck Jonathan was in the seat administration when the over 200 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok by the Boko Haram sect in 2014.
In a statement signed on Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said efforts of his administration is the best in the given circumstances. He added that it was a marked departure from the attitude of the preceding administration when 276 Chibok schoolgirls were abducted.
“On 19th February 2018, we woke up to the painful news of the abduction of 110 students of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi. Since this ugly incident happened, I have not left any stone unturned in making sure that the girls are rescued.
“I have ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief me on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls.
‘‘Within four days of the incident, the Minister of Information visited Dapchi and the next day, the Minister of Interior who was accompanied by the Minister of Information re-visited the school for on the spot assessment.
“I have ordered the re-strengthening of a Joint Operational Base involving relevant agencies and Services to coordinate the rescue mission. Consequently, the Service Commanders have not only established a unified Command Centre in Maiduguri, the Military has raised several rescue teams to comb the forests in the North East Theatre of Operation,” he said.
In addition, Buhari said the Nigerian Airforce has maintained aerial surveillance of the area.
He pledged that his administration will remain resolute in the fight against Terrorism and Boko Haram insurgents.
‘‘Nigerians will recall that prior to our coming in 2015, the situation was chaotic with violent terrorist attacks being the order of the day. Terrorists had made life very unbearable for the people in Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Niger, and even the FCT, Abuja. Our mosques and churches witnessed daily suicide bomb attacks. Parts of Adamawa and Borno States were helplessly ceded to the terrorists.
‘‘But today, we have so far shown clear determination in tackling terrorism which is a worldwide phenomenon. We have not only degraded the power and dominance of the criminal elements, our security forces have patriotically exhibited an uncommon zeal in executing their assignment.
‘‘I have ordered a 24-hour brief to me by security agencies on its successes or challenges,” the President explained.
Buhari also revealed that the Federal Government is working with the international community including Nigeria’s immediate neighbours to ensure the safe return of the schoolgirls.
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