Leah will be Freed Today- Ibrahim Idris

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, said the abducted Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, will be freed today from the Boko Haram captivity.

Idris spoke with newsmen when he visited the Military Command and Control Centre, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.

‘Obviously, I am aware and that is what we are just discussing. I am supposed to go to Dapchi today but because of the girl, I learnt she may be released.

“It is a sort of understanding that we do not create much security situation and I move with a helicopter. By the time I fly there, they might think I break and that was why I postponed the visit to Dapchi,” he said.

Idris disclosed that he had directed the deployment of four mobile police men and female personnel in each of the schools in the northeast to assist in providing protection of the students and teachers.

He said that he embarked on the assessment tour of the northeast to appraise the situation to forestall the reoccurrence of the Dapchi incident.

“I have visited the schools to assess our deployment to the schools; I am here now to visit the military and I spoke to all my officers in the three commands, to encourage them to have a greater synergy with the military and other security agencies.

“I believe with this we are going to have enhanced security to all communities in the northeast region”.

Idris noted that there was significant improvement of the security situation in the region, adding that credit should go to the military and other security agencies.

Also, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, described the visit as part of mutual working relationship, adding the military and police were working as a team to facilitate successful implementation of the counter-insurgency campaign.

Nicholas said that the military in collaboration with the police had re-opened the Maiduguri-Bama-Banki Highway, stressing that there was effective synergy between the military and police in the theatre of operation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Idris had visited police formations, schools and liberated communities in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States in the past two days.

Dapchi Girls: Parents Disagree With FG On Return Of Girls Back To Dapchi Sciil

The parents of the released Dapchi schoolgirls and the Federal Government may be set for a showdown on the plan of the government to send the released schoolgirls to continue their education at the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

While the parents have vowed that their daughters would not return to the GGSTC, Dapchi, to continue their education, the Federal Government insisted the girls would resume normal academic activities this week in the school where the girls were abducted on February 19.

Boko Haram terrorists had released the girls dramatically on Wednesday in Dapchi while they were brought to Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

Five of the 110 girls, abducted on February 19, reportedly died of shock on the day of their abduction while one, Leah Sharibu, who was said to have refused to renounce Christianity, is still being held by the Islamic insurgents.

The Secretary, Abducted Dapchi Girls’ Parents Association, Mallam Bukar Kachalla, disclosed the parents’ position on Saturday.

According to him, the parents have resolved to relocate the girls because they have lost confidence in the security arrangements in the town and the determination of the parents not to further put the lives of the girls in danger.

The parents’ position emerged a day after the Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria Turkish Nile University, Prof. Huseyin Sert, offered to award scholarships to the schoolgirls to pursue their education.

But the Federal Government said the freed girls would return to Dapchi and continue their education at the GGSTC this week.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Saturday, also allayed the fears of parents concerning the schoolgirls.

But Kachalla stated, “We have decided that none of the girls released will go back to the school even if the government provides all the security in the world in the school.

“Our resolve is predicated on the fact that we have been having security (presence) in Dapchi for the past five years, but the security (operatives) were suddenly withdrawn; and 21days after, the town was attacked and the girls were abducted.

“Now, what kind of assurance do we have that even if they (government) provide security, they will still not withdraw it someday? So, we cannot afford to risk the lives of the girls again.”

On the tension in Dapchi following the news that the remaining girl being held in captivity by Boko Haram on religious ground, Miss Leah Sharibu, will be brought back, Kachalla blamed the military for the tension.

He said, “We got news again that Boko Haram (terrorists) were bringing the remaining girl and we were happy as usual, only for the military to cordon off the place where the insurgents dropped the other girls on Wednesday.

“They are preventing people from moving freely along the main road which passes through Dapchi to Yunusari and Niger Republic.

“We are told they want to engage the insurgents in crossfire when they bring the girl and that is what is causing tension in the town. Why would they want to engage the insurgents? Do they want to risk the life of the remaining girl?

“There is a heavy presence of security in and out of Dapchi – from the entry, there is security checkpoints up to the police station. There is also heavy security presence around the school area and movement of people have been restricted and people are really afraid.”

Leah, abducted alongside other 109 girls on February 19, was not among the girls released on Wednesday on the ground that she refused to renounce her Christian faith and wear hijab despite the pressure by her abductors.

Also, Yahaya Tarbutu and Aisha Bukar, two of the parents of the recently released Dapchi schoolgirls, said their daughters narrated bitter-sweet experiences to them after they were returned by the Boko Haram terrorists to the town.

Tarbutu, a 45-year-old farmer, who has two daughters and one niece among the rescued schoolgirls, said that his daughters would never return to the GGSTC.

The daughters are Fatima Tarbutu, 13; Amina Tarbutu, 14; and the niece, 15-year-old Maryam Ahmed.

The father added, “I saw all my three girls among the rescued girls. We spoke and they said they were very fine. One of my daughters has rashes on her hands and on her legs. They were taken to Damaturu, and then to Maiduguri, and then flown by an aircraft to Abuja.

“The girls are not back from Abuja. We are still expecting them in Dapchi. I’m not taking my girls back to that school where they were abducted. I’m going to change their school as soon as they come back. I don’t want to disclose the school where I’m taking them to.”

When asked if her girls had shared how the Boko Haram militants treated them, Tarbutu said, “We, the parents, didn’t have too much time to discuss with them. On how we found them, they (the terrorists) just brought them into town and left them beside the road. There was no police or army around at all. By the time I was going to my station in Geidam, somebody told me that he heard that some abducted girls had been returned to the town.

“We were the ones who took our girls to a hospital before they were taken to Damaturu.”

Another parent, 35-year-old Bukar said her daughter said the insurgents did not attack any of the girls. She said her daughter cried on her shoulders while she was also weeping.

Bukar said, “I am very happy. I took my daughter home where she had her bath. I then took her to a hospital. She said she was fine and no harm was done to her. There was no ailment on her, but she was very dirty. Her clothes were very dirty. She cried seriously when she saw me.”

But the Federal Government has dismissed the threat by Boko Haram members warning girls in Dapchi against returning to school.

The government said efforts were being made to return the recently released 104 students of the GGSTC to their town and school.

Mohammed said the girls might leave Abuja for Yobe on Sunday (today) in preparation for the resumption of academic activities in their school where they were abducted on February 19, 2018.

The information minister added, “We are not withdrawing the girls from their school. To the best of my knowledge, there is no plan to change their school. They are returning to their school where they will continue with their education.

“They are also likely going to leave Abuja tomorrow (today) as everything has been done to ensure their safety and the safety of others.”

Schoolgirls’ parents urge FG to secure Leah’s release

Also, parents of the released Dapchi schoolgirls have asked the Federal Government to ensure the unconditional release of Sharibu by the insurgents.

The Secretary of the ADGPA, Kachalla, told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that no effort should be spared in ensuring the release of the remaining girl.

Kachala stated, “We want to thank Almighty Allah as well as Christians and Muslims across the country who devoted time to pray for the release of the girls. The prayers really worked and today, our tears have been wiped off. This was what all of us were looking forward to.

“My daughter, Aisha Kachalla, is among the girls taken to Abuja. We want to thank President Buhari for keeping to his words that our girls would be released to us. We are really happy.”

The District Head of Dapchi, Alhaji Kachalla Kamba, who spoke through his son, Ibrahim Kachalla, told one of our correspondents that the Dapchi community was overwhelmed with joy over the release of the girls.

He commended the Federal Government and the international community for their roles in ensuring the release of the girls.

Another parent, Alhaji Adamu Kontoma, also appreciated God for the safe return of the girls and called on the Federal Government to maintain security in schools in the region to give students confidence to pursue western education.

He said, “I want to thank all those who helped in one way or the other for the safe return of our girls especially President Muhammadu Buhari for all he did towards their release.

“For those that died, we pray that Allah will grant them rest and fair judgment. It is a thing of joy that most of the girls are now back and we thank everyone who contributed to this good news.

“We were crying, but today, most parents are laughing and are happy for the release of the girls. We are indeed very happy.”

CAN, #BOG, Sokoto Sultan Disagree Over Promised Amnesty To Repentant BH

The Christian Association of Nigeria, the #BringBackOurGirls coalition and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam, have disagreed over the amnesty promised to repentant Boko Haram insurgents by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President on Friday promised to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect who are ready to drop their arms and embrace peace.

Buhari made the promise at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving girls who were abducted from their school in Dapchi, Yobe State last month and were released on Wednesday.

He said, “While further efforts are being made to secure the release of every abducted citizen in Nigeria, the government is ever ready to accept the unconditional laying down of arms by any member of the Boko Haram group, who show strong commitment in that regard.

“We are ready to rehabilitate and integrate such repentant members into the larger society.

“This country has suffered enough of hostility. Government is, therefore, appealing to all to embrace peace for the overall development of our people and the country.”

It is a welcome development –JNI

But while the JNI said the amnesty promised to repentant Boko Haram insurgents was a welcome development to the peace efforts of the government, CAN opposed the move.

The Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Abubakar Khalid-Aliyu, told one of our correspondents that it was a good development as long as it would guarantee peace in the country.

He, however, noted that the amnesty should only be granted to “those that show remorse,” adding that those granted amnesty should be monitored before being reintegrated into the society.

CAN, on the other hand, frowned on the move, describing it as a sign of “weakness on the part of the government.”

The media aide to the CAN President, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said, “Why grant amnesty to criminals who have killed many people? It shows weakness on the part of the government or sympathy for them as being speculated.

“In what way are they different from armed robbers, kidnappers, ritual killers, and corrupt people that are facing prosecution?

“What kind of government are they running? Where on earth are we having all kinds of messy events being orchestrated by the government? May God deliver Nigeria!”

The # BBOG said some insurgents that were freed in the past later backtracked and unleashed terror on the people.

The group questioned the rationale behind the move, noting that the government had not presented any strategy for preventing freed terror suspects from going back to terrorism.

The BBOG spokesperson, Sesugh Akume, said, “Some of the insurgents released later went back to join their colleagues. We have evidence of this. What is the strategy behind declaring amnesty for terrorists and releasing those in custody and allowing them to go back to what they were doing?”

He dismissed the explanation made by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, that the government had a ceasefire arrangement with the insurgents and that they should not have abducted the Dapchi schoolgirls.

He said, “The Minister of Information said they had a ceasefire arrangement with Boko Haram and they ought not to have abducted the Dapchi girls, so they had a moral burden to return the girls. You are talking about terrorists and morality?

“It seems as if the rest of us understand the terrorists differently from how the government understands them. They need to come down from their high horse and explain to us what is going on.

“How can the government be talking about Boko Haram and morality? Those they released in the past went back and unleashed more terror, so how are they going to prevent this from happening again?”

Similarly, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, expressed concern about the release of thousands of Boko Haram suspects and the promise of amnesty for repentant insurgents by the President.

The group’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said, “We are getting uncomfortable with the way this government is getting close to Boko Haram. We remember that when this government came to power, Zakari Biu, a commissioner of police, who was suspended for releasing a Boko Haram kingpin, was reinstated into the police as CP.”

President warns security chiefs, politicians

Buhari had earlier warned the people he described as politicising the security situation in the country, saying they should desist or incur the wrath of security agencies.

“May I also warn against those elements who have chosen to make a political fortune of our citizens’ misfortune.

“Government would not tolerate any attempt by any person or group to trivialise or politicise security issues for politically motivated ends.

“Accordingly, security agencies would not hesitate to decisively deal with such unscrupulous characters,” he said.

Buhari also announced that he would not hesitate to wield the big stick against security chiefs if any case of abduction was recorded in any part of the country.

He said he had directed them to beef up security around all schools.

“The security services have since been directed to put in place further measures around all schools vulnerable to attacks to ensure the safety of our pupils/students, teachers and school workers.

“I have tasked all the security agencies to work to ensure that we do not witness any recurrence of these incidents.

“Security chiefs have been warned in clear terms that any lapse on their parts will be viewed seriously,” he said.

The President announced that a total of 107 students previously abducted had been unconditionally released by their abductors.

He said the unconditional release signified his administration’s commitment to the security and well-being of all Nigerians.

He said he was never in doubt about his administration’s focus and direction since his assumption of office.

He restated his position that security, anti-corruption and revamping of the nation’s economy remained the main focus of his government.

Buhari added, “You will recall that on the 14th of this month, I paid a visit to Yobe State during which I sympathised with the parents, families, government and people of the state for the tragic abduction of the students in Dapchi.

“I made a solemn pledge on my word of honour that this administration would do everything possible to ensure the unconditional release of the girls.

“I further tasked all the appropriate security agencies to safely bring back the girls. We also reached out to our contacts at home and abroad. We embarked on back-channel shuttles with a clear view to bringing this tragedy to an end.

“We entered into negotiations solely to make sure that no single girl was hurt. This strategy paid off as the girls have been released without any incidents. Let me re-emphasise our administration’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and insurgency, and also call on all Nigerians to join in this task.”

Buhari assured the rescued pupils that they would freely live and pursue their dreams in Nigeria without fear of violence or molestation.

While the parents of the freed Dapchi girls celebrated their reunion with their children, the President appealed to the Chibok Community never to lose hope or to despair.

He said he was determined as never before, to bring back the remaining Chibok girls, adding “and this, we must accomplish. And that will be soon by God’s grace.”

The President thanked all Nigerians, who in spite of political differences, prayed and showed solidarity with the families of the abducted pupils during the period that they were in captivity.

This, he described as the Nigerian spirit.

“We can and should sustain it beyond moments of sorrow. I remain thankful to the international community and our friends who offered varying degrees of assistance during the back-channel communications.

“May I, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, extend our appreciation to the security agencies for their loyal and tireless efforts in making this day a reality,” he added.

Fatima Bashir, who spoke on behalf of the girls, thanked Buhari for his efforts in saving their lives and bringing them back home safely.

The Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, in his remarks, noted that uncoordinated comments by senior government officials incompetent to speak on the abduction complicated the girls’ rescue operations.

Daura said four of the girls who were discovered to have broken legs were taken for X-ray at the DSS medical facility.

He also said all the girls were found to have one skin disease or the other due to their inability to have a bath for over one month.

He added that they had been medically examined, and those with ailments were treated, adding that the measures were taken to ensure that they were in good health.

The DSS boss attributed the girls’ release to what he called painstaking, back-channel dialogue with their abductors.

He said, “It may be recalled that the President had given a clear directive to security agencies to use peaceful options to ensure the timely and safe release of the girls. What followed were intense dialogues behind the scene, spearheaded by the DSS.

“The insurgents’ only condition was their demands for the cessation of hostilities and temporary ceasefire to enable them to return the girls to where they were taken from.”

Daura said the girls, including four representatives of their school (the Principal and Vice Principal) as well as their parents, were brought into the medical facility as part of measures to relieve tension and anxiety.

“The presence of these representatives have further reassured and stabilised the girls,” he said.

On the way forward, Daura suggested to the President that efforts should be sustained towards ensuring the release of all abducted persons in the North-East, improving the security of schools in vulnerable locations, and improving on the coordination efforts among security agencies to avoid future incidents, among others.

N’East: Military can’t deploy troops in all schools, says DHQ

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, said on Friday that the military was unable to deploy troops in schools in the North-East because of the large geographical size of the region.

The Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Agim, who stated this in an interview on Channels Television, said the military did not have enough personnel to supply to all the schools to prevent terrorists’ abduction or attacks.

Agim described the Federal Government’s decision to send policemen and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to the region as commendable.

He said, “The military does not have the power to deploy (troops) in all the schools. It is not possible. People don’t know the landmass that we have in the North-East and the number of troops that are deployed in that place. The landmass is very large.

“It is very difficult. It is not possible. Where the military was deployed in Dapchi, they (the troops) were taken away. They were deployed for other assignments. So, it is possible that the Boko Haram can operate in a place for a long time without the military presence.

“They were withdrawn out of Dapchi for another assignment on January 10 and this attack took place on February 19.”

(PUNCH)

Bill Gates, Dangote Meet Buhari In Aso Rock

Shortly after the release of the Dapchi school girls, President Muhammadu Buhari met with billionaires, Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote in Aso-rock on Wednesday night.

According to reports the billionaires were hosted to a private dinner by Buhari. The reason or outcome of the meeting has not been disclosed.

Details Later..

 

105 Dapchi Girls Return, Fate Of 5 Others Unknown

It is confirmed that some of the kidnapped Dapchi school girls are back to the town.

It is also confirmed that five of the kidnapped students are dead.

Information however is still sketchy if the whole girls are released or just some.

Channels Television gathered that there is heavy security presence in the town, making it difficult for reporters to gain access to Dapchi.

Some of the parents of the missing students, who spoke with our correspondent in Yobe, confirmed that their abducted children have returned.

However, details of the girls’ return are still sketchy while the exact number of those that returned have yet to be ascertained.

According to SaharaReporters, the terrorist group came with the girls in nine vehicles.

Quoting sources, the online news platform said that the militant group came with the girls in nine vehicles same way they took them.

It added that five of the girls are feared dead.

It cannot be ascertained if any ransom was paid by the federal government to secure the girls’ freedom.

History Is Repeating Itself- Wole Soyinka

 

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has admitted that history might just be repeating itself on the issue of the Dapchi school girls adoption.

While speaking at a dialogue organized by Ripples Center for Data and Investigative Journalism in Lagos, Soyinka revealed the reaction of former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan to the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok during his tenure.

Soyinka said Jonathan told him that the abduction of the schoolgirls was his own business and he should deal with it. He said Jonathan believed the opposition was using the abduction to discredit his government, and it wasn’t until three weeks after the incident that Jonathan acknowledged that over 200 girls had indeed been abducted in Chibok, Borno state.

Soyinka said:

“I reached out to former President Jonathan, and protested, chiding him severely on his reaction over the abduction of the Chibok girls. I said to him; ‘you want to be accepted as a political leader, and you do not even accept as your duty to be there, at the scene of the disaster?’ And I asked him, did you actually utter those words attributed to you?  His response remains a riddle to me till today.”

He continued: “His exact words to me, not easily forgotten I assure you, were ‘Kampala tie niyen,’ meaning that is your own Kampala.”

With history repeating itself in Dapchi where schoolgirls were recently abducted, Soyinka said that rather than visiting the affected areas, Buhari should speak to people’s security needs, and bring perpetrators to book. He said that failure on the part of government has been the reason the country is yet to get over the security challenges.

 

Insecurity: Buhari To Visit Affected States

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, under fire because of mounting security threats, including Boko Haram, is to tour states worst-hit by the violence, his office said on Monday.

“From today, March 5, he will visit Taraba, and subsequently Benue, Yobe, Zamfara and Rivers states,” the presidency said in an emailed statement.

Yobe, in northeast Nigeria, is where Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls in the town of Dapchi on February 19, nearly four years after a similar abduction caused global outrage.

Then, more than 200 girls were seized from their boarding school in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, bringing world-wide attention on the insurgency.

The then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, was heavily criticised for his slow response to the kidnapping.

Last weekend, Buhari, who has called the abduction from Dapchi a “national disaster”, was criticised for attending a society wedding in the northern city of Kano. His political opponents have said he should have visited Dapchi instead.

It was not immediately clear whether Buhari’s Yobe itinerary included a trip to the town. The 75-year-old Buhari was elected in 2015 on a pledge to defeat Boko Haram. But the Dapchi attack and others have raised questions about the extent of repeated government claims to have virtually defeated the Islamist militants. Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he would be making an “on-the-spot assessment” of “recent terrorist attacks, criminal activities and communal clashes” on his visits.

He would also “meet and console the communities affected”. The central state of Benue and Zamfara in the northwest have both been hit by renewed clashes between farmers and nomadic herdsmen over access to resources.

Last month, extra troops were sent to try to quell violence in Benue, as well as neighbouring Taraba and Nasarawa. Buhari, who also doubles up as oil minister, has yet to visit the strategic southern state of Rivers, which is the hub of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The state has long been hit by political violence. Adesina sought to play down allegations that Buhari is out of touch with the security situation, saying he had received daily briefings and been “in constant touch” with governors.

 

Military Employs Fishermen, Farmers In Search For Dapchi Schoolgirls

Local fishermen and farmers have been employed by the Military to aid in the search of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls, the head of counter-insurgency operation in the North East (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, has said.

Speaking at the inauguration of helipad, office complex and residential quarters for officers and airmen at the newly established 171 Nigerian Air Force Detachment in Monguno town by the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno on Tuesday evening, Nicholas said over 200 hours have been spent by crafts combing the Theatre for the schoolgirls.

Nicholas said the National Security Adviser and Chief of Air Staff came down to add value to the present ongoing search for the missing Dapchi schoolgirls.

He said both the NSA and CAS have been flying round the Theatre to contribute to the ongoing search for the girls.

He said: “What this means is that nobody is sitting down, sleeping over it. It means that the government is serious in rescuing these abducted girls. Primarily, that is why the NSA is here to see things for himself and add value to what we are doing.

“Having said that, the NSA has also introduced us to some locals — fishermen and farmers — who have very good knowledge of this terrain to work with us in terms of intelligence to contribute to the search efforts we are making.

“The Nigerian Air Force has been airborne since the last three days and we will also declare additional platforms to do this exercise. As I speak, many areas have been covered, over 200 hours have been spent flying, combing the whole Theatre in search of the girls.

“Additionally the ground force are there in various places searching in various places identified.”

UN Calls For “Unconditional Release” Of Dapchi Girls

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of the abducted students of the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, in Yobe State.

In a statement by his spokesman on Nigeria, Stephane Dujarric, on Wednesday, Mr Guterres condemned the attack that led to the abduction of the girls by suspected Boko Haram terrorists from their school on Monday last week.

The UN boss, who is gravely concerned over the situation, asked the Nigerian government to ensure the safe return of the girls to their families.

He also urged the national authorities to swiftly bring those responsible for the act to justice.

The Secretary-General further reassured the Federal Government of the solidarity and support of the United Nations and other affected countries in the region in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

While there had been disputing figures of the abducted girls, the Federal Government put the total number of students unaccounted for after the attack at 110.

In a bid to further prove this, the names and full details of the girls were made public in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed.

Prior to the release of the statement, President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed to ensure the release of all Nigerians in the custody of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The President made the pledge on Monday in Abuja when he received the University of Maiduguri lecturers and 10 women who recently regained freedom from the insurgents.

In his words, President Buhari said: “I can’t fully express the joy I felt I this afternoon, as I received our citizens recently released from Boko Haram captivity — fathers, mothers, sons, daughters. We will go to any length to ensure that no one is left behind in the hands of terrorists. Every Nigerian life matters!”

“There were the University of Maiduguri lecturers, abducted while on service to their fatherland, and also the women abducted from a funeral procession. Today they are safely back home, and Nigeria rejoices with them and with their families,” he added.

 

Army Employs Fishermen, Farmers To Find Dapchi Girls

The head of counter-insurgency operation in the North East (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, has said that the military has employed the services of local fishermen and farmers in the search for the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.

Speaking at the inauguration of helipad, office complex and residential quarters for officers and airmen at the newly established 171 Nigerian Air Force Detachment in Monguno town by the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno on Tuesday evening,

Nicholas said over 200 hours have been spent by crafts combing the Theatre for the schoolgirls.

Nicholas said the National Security Adviser and Chief of Air Staff came down to add value to the ongoing search for the missing Dapchi schoolgirls.

He said both the NSA and CAS have been flying round the Theatre to contribute to the ongoing search for the girls.

He said: “What this means is that nobody is sitting down, sleeping over it. It means that the government is serious in rescuing these abducted girls. Primarily, that is why the NSA is here to see things for himself and add value to what we are doing.

“Having said that, the NSA has also introduced us to some locals — fishermen and farmers — who have very good knowledge of this terrain to work with us in terms of intelligence to contribute to the search efforts we are making.

“The Nigerian Air Force has been airborne since the last three days and we will also declare additional platforms to do this exercise. As I speak, many areas have been covered, over 200 hours have been spent flying, combing the whole Theatre in search of the girls.

“Additionally the ground force are there in various places searching in various places identified.”

Dapchi Girls: Aregbesola, Osinbajo’s Wife Sue For Prayers

 

Wife of Nigeria’s Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State have called on Nigerians to pray for the safe return of the 110 girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents from Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, last Monday.

 

They made the call while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day conference of Osun Officials’ Wives Association (OSUNWA) tagged: “Virtuous Woman: Pushing for Greater Development.”

 

Osinbajo said Nigerians should realise the need to be their brother’s keepers, especially by praying for the safe return of the missing girls.

 

The VP’s wife pointed out that kidnappers, too, have mothers, sisters and possibly daughters, and should not put fellow mothers, sisters and daughters of other people in undue panic and sorrows by kidnapping innocent girls.

On his part, Aregbesola called on the participants to observe a one-minute prayer for the prompt safe release of the abducted girls.

 

He said, “We need to ask God to touch the hearts of the insurgents to hasten the release of the girls and other victims that have been in their captivity.

“Women are central to life, they are guarantors and caretakers of the human race.”