Two Weeks After, Jonathan Issues First Official Statement on Abducted Schoolgirls
Over two weeks after campaigning and dancing in Kano barely hours after the Chibok girls were abducted from their school in Borno state, President Goodluck Jonathan has suddenly realized that the over 200 girls have been missing and has got the first official press statement issued by his information Minister, Labaran Maku. Read the statement below:
THE response of Nigeria’s government to the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by suspected Islamist militants began with confusion and has become increasingly shambolic, creating chaos that in other countries would see senior heads roll. President Goodluck Jonathan has remained remarkably silent about the kidnapping of the girls, a story that outraged many and triggered one of Nigeria’s rare street protests. Five years into an insurgency by the Islamist sect Boko Haram that claims thousands of lives every year, Mr Jonathan seems distracted while the military has failed to stop the bloodshed despite a multi-billion dollar-a-year budget, wrote The Economist
Also today, after dilly-dallying for over two weeks, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, finally came up with a ‘Presidential Committee On The Rescue Of The Abducted Female Students At Government Secondary School, Chibok’
Jonathan said that as part of efforts to ensure successful rescue of the abducted female students of Government Secondary School CHIBOK, he has approved the constitution of a Presidential fact finding Committee on the rescue efforts for the missing female students.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE HON. MINISTER OF INFORMATION, LABARAN MAKU, ON THE CURRENT SECURITY SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY; ON MAY 02, 2014
President Goodluck Jonathan today called a high-level meeting at Aso Villa to review the security situation in the country, particularly the bombing at Nyanya yesterday, and the unfortunate kidnapping by suspected terrorists of girls of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on 15th April, 2014.
The meeting was attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Defence Minister General Aliyu Gusau (rtd), Service Chiefs and heads of security agencies.
The meeting received updates on the second Nyanya bombing, the ongoing search for the Chibok girls, and efforts made so far to deal with related incidents of insecurity and terrorism in the country.
On the latest bomb explosion in Nyanya, the President directed security chiefs to increase surveillance and expedite investigation into the explosion to ensure that those behind the heinous act are arrested and brought to justice.
The President also gave instructions for additional proactive measures by security agencies to enhance public safety, including increased public awareness for citizens to step up their cooperation with security agencies by reporting suspected activities and persons likely to cause a breach of public peace, safety and security.
On the unfortunate kidnap of the Chibok girls, the security chiefs briefed the meeting on efforts so far made to locate and rescue the girls, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Extensive and intensive aerial surveillance by the Air Force has been carried out in all the routes leading into and out of Chibok up to the Chad and Cameroun borders. Other parts of Borno and Adamawa states are also under the searchlight. Every information relayed to security agencies has so far been investigated, including the search of all places suspected as a possible hide-away of the kidnapped girls.
The police, backed up by the military and DSS, have combed and are still combing all reported places that the girls might have been taken to.
In view of the inconsistent and contradictory information available to government on the Chibok abduction, the President has set up a fact-finding committee comprising security agencies, civil society, international organisations and other stakeholders.
The President commiserates with the families of the deceased in the latest bombing at Nyanya, and empathises with all those who were injured in the incident. He has also directed full medical treatment for the victims at government expense.
The President also shares in the pain and anguish of the parents and guardians of the Chibok girls abducted by the terrorists. The President’s heart goes out to these our unfortunate daughters who have had to endure the trauma of abduction and separation from their loved ones. The government and people of Nigeria stand solidly by them.
The President further appeals to the parents, guardians, relations and members of the public to furnish security agencies with all the information that will assist in the rescue of the girls.
Government also appreciates the public outpouring of support and the sentiment expressed so far by all Nigerians, including civil society groups who have come out to condemn the abduction of the girls and terrorism in the country. Government strongly believes that the people of Nigeria, standing together, will overcome the current security challenges.
The President has directed that the security agencies should intensify efforts to rescue the Chibok girls. The President assures Nigerians that “wherever the girls are in the world, we will get them back, apprehend and punish the culprits”.
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