President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration is doing all possible best to ensure the release and safe return of the abducted Dapchi school girls in Dapchi, Yobe State.
Buhari spoke at a town hall meeting with traditional and community leaders, as well as other stakeholders in Damaturu, as part of activities lined up for his official visit to Yobe State.
Buhari said, “The Federal Government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over three years.
“Due to our commitment, over 100 Chibok girls have been rescued and reunited with their families, sent back to school and empowered with requisite skills.
“You may recall that recently, our negotiation efforts led to the release of abducted University of Maiduguri lecturers, some women police personnel, students and even an NYSC member.
“We, therefore, have no doubt that the Dapchi girls will be rescued or released. I can assure parents, Nigerians and the international community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to their families.”
Buhari promised that any agency, person or group found culpable in the abduction of the girls by the committee set up to investigate the matter would be punished.
“The Federal Government has set up a 12-member committee to unravel the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the students.
“The membership of the committee was drawn from among security agencies and local residents.
“It is my hope that any agency, person or group found to have been negligent or culpable in the abduction of the girls will be punished in accordance with the law,” he said.
He promised that there would be no rest until the last girl from Chibok and Dapchi was released.
The President said the girls, like all other citizens, must enjoy unhindered freedom and pursue their legitimate aspirations.
“The Dapchi and Chibok pupils are our girls and must enjoy our protection. They must live to achieve their individual ambitions; to be great women of tomorrow. It is our duty to protect them.
“We are determined to restore peace to all parts of the country – from the West to the East; North to the South.
“While calling for calm, I implore affected parents and families to restrain from making statements that may jeopardise the success of the rescue mission,” he added.