School-girls-abductedThe fact-finding committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan on the abduction of over 200 girls at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, held its maiden meeting on Tuesday, after an inauguration ceremony earlier by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The committee has broken into clusters of workgroups to immediately gather and examine facts already in the public domain and within the knowledge of appropriate agencies, with a view to ascertaining gaps, which will assist the committee in the next stages of its fact-finding mission.

A statement by the spokesman of the fact finding committee, Mr Kingsley Osadalor, said the committee took cognisance of the absence of the three representatives of Borno State government during the committee’s inauguration at the State House, Abuja.

The committee contacted the secretary to the Borno State government, Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, who explained that he had been away, but promised to send the nominated representatives at the next plenary of the presidential committee.

During the inauguration earlier on Tuesday, President Jonathan said: “It is not a judicial or administrative committee but a step the government must take to confront the sad circumstances surrounding the situation”.

According to him, the committee is not a replacement of the search and rescue operations being undertaking by security agencies. “The operations will continue to be intensified until the girls are brought home to their families, but that the committee is to provide public interface with all those directly concerned with the tragedy to provide a well-coordinated input into the overall investigation,” he said.

The abduction of the girls and Bomb blast in Nyanya area of the Federal Capital Territory, where the World Economic Forum on Africa will hold from May 7-9, are  raising fears of insecurity in the city, but President Jonathan reassured those attending the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Abuja of a secured environment, pledging that he must bring back the missing girls.

The committee was set up on Friday after a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and Security Chiefs where the security situations in Nigeria’s north were discussed.

Its functions are to liaise with the Borno State Government and establish the circumstances leading to the School remaining open for boarding students when other schools were closed, liaise with relevant authorities and the parents of the missing girls to establish the actual number and identities of the girls abducted, interface with the Security Services and Borno State Government to ascertain how many of the missing girls have returned and to mobilise the surrounding communities and the general public on citizen support for a rescue strategy and operation.