Home NEWS CRIME We Are Exploring All Options To Rescue Chibok Girls Alive, Says Jonathan

We Are Exploring All Options To Rescue Chibok Girls Alive, Says Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan and  Malala Yousafzai
President Goodluck Jonathan and Malala Yousafzai

President Goodluck Jonathan has made it clear that his government is actively pursuing all feasible options to achieve the safe return of the female students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state, abducted by members of Boko Haram on April 14.
“The time it is taking to achieve that objective is not a question of the competence of the Nigerian Government,” President Jonathan added, as he hosted Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani Girl-Child Education Campaigner, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today.
The President acknowledged some challenges in the rescue efforts, one of which is the overriding imperative of ensuring that the girls’ lives are not endangered in any such rescue attempt.
“Terror is relatively new here and dealing with it has its challenges. The great challenge in rescuing the Chibok girls is the need to ensure that they are rescued alive.” President Jonathan stressed that the Federal Government and its security agencies are very mindful of the need to avoid the scenario in rescue attempts in other parts of the world where lives of abductees were lost in the effort to rescue them.
He debunked the notion that his government has not been doing enough to find and rescue the abducted Chibok girls, saying that such notion is very wrong and misplaced.
The President insisted that his government is spending sleepless nights to ensure that the girls are rescued alive and safely returned to their parents.
He told Malala, who was accompanied by her father and other members of her Foundation, that his government is fully aware of the anxiety about the girls, even as he fully empathized with the pains and anguish the girls parents are going through.
Jonathan is assured them that with teams from the United States, Britain, France, Israel and other friendly nations working with Nigeria on the rescue effort, the end would soon be on sight.
Such foreign assistants, he said: “all appreciate the challenges and the need to thread carefully to achieve our purpose.”
The President told Malala who met yesterday with some parents of the abducted girls that he would meet with the parents himself before they left Abuja to personally comfort them and reassure them that his government is doing all within its powers to rescue their daughters.
President Jonathan reiterated his Administration’s commitment to ensuring the safe and proper education of all Nigerian children.
“I personally believe that since about 50 per cent of our population are female, we will be depriving ourselves of half of our available human resources if we fail to educate our girls adequately or suppress their ambitions in any way. We are therefore taking steps to curb all forms of discrimination against girls and women, and have also undertaken many affirmative actions on their behalf.”
The President said that the Federal Government is also proactively evolving and implementing policies and measures that will benefit the abducted Chibok girls when they are safely rescued, as well as others that have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said that there would soon be various measures, including the establishment of a Victims’ Support Fund, the Safe Schools Initiative and the Presidential Initiative for the North East, adding that he would soon inaugurate a National Committee to oversee fundraising for the Victims’ Support Fund, which will also cater for families of security men and women who have lost their lives in the war against terrorism. The inauguration will take place on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
The President thanked Malala for coming to Nigeria to support ongoing efforts to rescue the abducted Chibok girls and promote girl-child education.
“We appreciate your efforts to change the world positively through your powerful advocacy for girl-child education.” [myad]

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