President Muhammadu Buhari has barred his cabinet members and political aides from attending the 6th anniversary Ceremony of abducted female students of Chibok Community in Borno State by members of the outlawed Boko Haram terrorist sect.
The President said this in a series of tweets by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Monday.
Shehu said on his verified tweeter handle @Garshehu, said “President Muhammadu Buhari extends his good wishes to the people of Chibok, Borno State, during the prayers and thanksgiving services to mark the sixth anniversary of the
incident which is billed for Tuesday.
“President Buhari regrets that the current #Covid-19 pandemic, with restrictions on movement, makes it impossible for any government delegation to prayers and thanksgiving services to mark the sixth anniversary of the kidnapping of their daughters by Boko Haram terrorist group.
Buhari, expressed regret for not attending the Ceremony, extends his good wishes to the people of Chibok, Borno State.
TheNewspad reports that the students were abducted by gunmen who invaded Chibok Girls Secondary school on April 14, 2014 during the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan who was widely condemned by international Community and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for failing to secure the release of the students.
Besides, the outrage and protests by Nigerians including the Cofounder of #Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBG) Dr Oby Ezekwesili by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari reached a deal through the back channel and secure the release of some of the victims through a prison’s swap with Boko Haram who held back some of the girls including Leah Sharibu, amid speculations that she refused to renounce her faith as a Christian.
But, Buhari assured the people of #Chibok that he is still mindful of their welfare and their concerns, especially regarding our daughters who are still missing.
Speaking on the specific issue of the freedom for the remaining girls held by the terrorists, Shehu said the President noted that the ongoing efforts on two fronts
He said the armed forces of the Country who are on general operations in the entire region continue in their hope that they would encounter these girls, as they did thousands of other hostages, rescue and bring them back home.
According to him, “The nation’s security and intelligence community, in whom a lot of hope, is reposed in rescuing the abducted girls is making a lot of efforts using backroom channels to get them back to their families.
“These are processes, formal and informal that involves different groups with links to the terrorists, and are very tedious and uneasy as is seen in different parts of the world.
“The issue of the Chibok girls is not a forgotten issue. We cannot go to sleep over this matter. We are optimistic that ongoing efforts will yield something positive,” President Buhari assured.
“Unfortunately, an ongoing crisis within the Boko Haram leadership, which has led to factions and breakaway groups, brought a number of unforeseen challenges to the process of negotiating with the militants for the young women’s release.
“In the past few years, our armed forces have recorded huge successes in the battle against Boko Haram, but they have also been careful to ensure that as few civilian lives as possible were lost in the process. We would rather the young women still in captivity were freed alive”.
President Buhari also reflected on the progress being made by the freed ‘Chibok girls’, who were sponsored by his administration to study at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, saying that he is proud of what they are doing.
He encourages them to remain focused on their studies and on this unique opportunity that has been given to them by God, following their horrific time in captivity.
Buhari also commended Yakubu Nkeki, Lawan Zannah & Yana Galang, the executive officials of the Association of the Parents of the Abducted Girls from Chibok, on their steadfast efforts to advocate for the welfare of the parents, the freed women, & those still in captivity.