President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday restated his commitment to rescuing the abducted Chibok school girls from the Boko Haram insurgents.
The President gave the assurance at a meeting with parents and relatives of the abducted schoolgirls of Chibok behind closed doors in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Jonathan, represented by the Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, briefed them on how far his administration had gone trying to secure the captives’ release.
A statement by the minister’s spokesman, Olawale Rasheed, said the meeting centered on the Federal Government’s commitment to safe return of the girls.
The statement said the families of the abducted schoolgirls were led by Mrs Pindar Dauda; while the youth leader of the Chibok community and some elders were also in attendance.
It said the president’s representative told girls’ parents that the government under had devised comprehensive counter- insurgency strategies with the aim of reclaiming occupied territories, rescuing abducted persons, resettling the internally displaced persons and rehabilitating insurgency ravaged communities.
The statement quoted the minister as telling the girls parents: “Mr President is pursuing multi- faceted strategies which address the pains, anger and frustrations of victims. Our President directed me to tell you that his government is committed to doing everything possible for the safe return of your daughters.
“I am here to convey the sympathy of Mr President and the entire Federal cabinet to you the parents and families as well as all other victims. As you are all aware, our military is having the upper hand in this sacred war. We believe by the grace of God that your children will return safely”.
The minister commended the families for refusing to support the politicisation of their daughters’ abduction, saying “your presence here to listen to the message of Mr President confirms your belief in the ongoing counter insurgency operations as a solution to our collective challenge.
“I assure you that not only will rescue operations be successful, the other three goals of reclaiming occupied territories, resettlement of IDPS and rebuilding of communities, will be pursued to a logical conclusion. This is a personal pledge of Mr President which the entire administration is committed to”.
The statement also quoted the spokesperson of the parents and families of the girls, Mrs Pindar Dauda, as thanking Jonathan for his concern and sympathy, while praying for the success of the ongoing military operations.
It said Mrs Dauda spoke in local language thus:”I appeal to President Jonathan not to relent. He should continue with the war on Boko Haram. He should get our children back for us safely. We are praying for him and the military”.