Pray For Return Of Those In Captivity, Buhari Tells Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari is optimistic the remaining Chibok girls in captivity would regain their freedom

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Nigerians to continue to pray for the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls, and others in Boko Haram captivity.

The president made the request in his Easter message to Nigerians on Thursday, one month and 10 days after the terrorists who abducted schoolgirls from Chibok in 2014, snatched 110 schoolgirls from a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State.

Five of the Dapchi girls had died in captivity, 104 of them were freed on March 21 and reunited with their parents on Sunday. However, the terrorists held one, Leah Sharibu, back; allegedly because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Her fate has remained a source of worry with many calling for her release.

President Buhari is thankful for the release of Leah’s schoolmates and is hopeful that all those still in captivity would also regain their freedom. He, however, believes the prayers of Nigerians would help.

“I am very optimistic that all others, including the Chibok girls who are still in captivity, will be safely released unconditionally to their families. I urge you to continue to pray for their safe return,” he said in a statement.

The abduction of the schoolgirls had raised concerns about the safety of schools, especially in the North East which is the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency.

To ensure such an incident does not occur again, the President said security agencies have been given directives to protect schools.

“I have given clear instructions to our security agencies to prioritise safety in schools in areas where the humanitarian and security situation are still dire, in addition to ensuring adequate protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),” President Buhari said.

With the 2019 elections less than a year away, President Buhari also used his Easter message to call on politicians to be law abiding.

He said, “As we approach the period of campaigns, I appeal to our political actors and other stakeholders to resist any act that could mar the integrity of our electoral process.

“I am optimistic that with God on our side, the dark days of Nigeria’s elections being manipulated by violence and rigging by corrupt politicians and their agents are over.

“They are confined to the dustbin of history where they rightly belong. I remain committed to bequeathing a legacy of supremacy of the people’s will through the ballot box.”

FG Committed In Rescuing Remaining Dapchi Schoolgirl – Reps

$1bn Insurgency Fund: Reps Ask FG To Pay Oil Producing States 13%
File photo

 

The House of Representatives  Adhoc Committee investigating the Dapchi has assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring the quick release of the remaining schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, who still held hostage by the Boko Haram.

Addressing journalists on Thursday in Dapchi after meeting with stakeholders with a view to forestalling future occurrence the committee chairman Hon Yusuf Buba also calls on the people of Dapchi to ensure the Girl-child education does not suffer despite the activities of the insurgents to cripple education in the northeast.

The 12 man committee set up by the House while in Dapchi had interaction with the parents, teachers, the traditional leader of the area as well as security personnel, local government authorities among others.

The stakeholders were given the opportunity to make their submissions, observations and recommendation on the whole scenario.

After the meetings, the committee Chairman Hon Yusuf Buba assured the people of Dapchi that the present administration is working towards the return of Leah Sharibu and task them never to allow Girl-Child education suffer as a result of the abduction saga.

Earlier the committee had called on the state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, that their mission is to visit the state to commiserate with the parents and teachers of the students and to verify the remote and the immediate causes of the abduction with a view to forestalling future occurrences.

The committee according to him will not witch-hunt anyone but to work towards tackling any case of school abduction in the future.

The state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, represented by his deputy Abubakar Aliyu, commended the House of Representatives for setting up the committee and called on the Federal Government to work hard towards ending the insurgency which has greatly underdeveloped the northeast region.

He commended security operatives and the radicalization programme of the federal government which is aim at rehabilitating the repented terrorists.

Freed Dapchi Schoolgirls Reunite With Their Parents

 

The schoolgirls who were abducted by the Boko Haram from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi have reunited with their parents.

The students were on Sunday handed over to their parents at the Assembly Hall of the school in Dapchi the headquarters of Bursari Local Government Area of Yobe State.

 

A member of the House of Reps Hon Bukar Goni, who presented the children to the state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam represented by the State Commissioner of Information Mala Musi, says over a hundred of the number presented are students of the school while two are children living in the staff quarters of the institution.


He called on parents of the students not to be deterred by the abduction saga as the government has set up the necessary measures to forestall a re-occurrence.

Mr Goni thanked all Nigerians for standing behind the people of the area throughout its trying times.

The Dapchi schoolgirls were released on Wednesday, March 21 after being held captive by the Boko Haram.

 

Although two girls were said to have died as a result of the trauma while one of them was not released.

However, one of the girls told Channels Television in an interview on Wednesday, hours after their arrival that they were not maltreated throughout the period in captivity.

 

President, Muhammadu Buhari, last Friday met with the freed schoolgirls and others who recently regained freedom from the Boko Haram terrorists.

He received them as well as a boy and one other girl at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

During the meeting, the President advised the schoolgirls to pursue their dreams without fear.

 

Remaining Dapchi Schoolgirl On Her Way Back – IGP

Inspector-General Of Police, Ibrahim Idris

 

The Inspector General of Police Idris Ibrahim says the remaining Dapchi student, Leah Sharibu, who was not released along with her classmates is on her way back home.

The IGP confirmed this on Saturday in an interview with journalists at the Military Command and Control Center in Maiduguri where he visited the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole.

He said he had been scheduled to travel to Dapchi but shelved the trip so as not to jeopardize her release.

Leah was reportedly held back for refusing to denounce her Christian faith while in captivity but the government promised to do everything possible to secure her release just like the rest.

The Yobe state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had also urged the Federal Government to do all it can to secure her release.

Read Also: CAN Asks FG To Rescue Dapchi Schoolgirl Still In Captivity

Leah Sharibu.

110 students (all girls) were abducted from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi, in Yobe state on February 19, 2018.

However, after negotiations, 104 of them and two other abductees – a boy and a girl, were released on March 21.

Unfortunately, five of the girls were said to have died as a result of the trauma while in captivity.

Read Also: Remaining Dapchi Schoolgirl Won’t Be Abandoned, Says Buhari

The freed children were subsequently flown to Abuja where they met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.

The President encouraged them to pursue their dreams without fear regardless of the traumatic experience.

He assured them of their security and that efforts are on to also secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls and other Nigerians in captivity of the terrorists.

Furthermore, he noted that the development which he described as “cheering and hearty” signified the commitment of his administration to the security and well-being of all Nigerians.

Read Also: Pursue Your Dreams Without Fear, Buhari Tells Dapchi Schoolgirls

The President also recalled his visit to Yobe State on Wednesday last week during which he sympathised with the parents, families, and people of the state on the tragic abduction of the students in Dapchi.

He added that he had made a solemn pledge “on my word of honour” that the Federal Government would do everything possible to ensure their unconditional release of the girls.

“We are never in doubt about our focus and direction since the assumption of this administration – security, anti-corruption and revamping of our economy are the main focus of our government,” President Buhari avowed.

Dapchi: Playing Politics With Innocent Children Disgraceful – Ogundamisi

 

Political Analyst, Kayode Ogundamisi, has criticised the government over what he describes as “playing politics” with the lives of innocent girls who were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from their school in Dapchi, Yobe state.

While analysing the circumstances of their abduction and subsequent release, he said the Federal Government ought not to celebrate their ‘victory’, as the girls should not have been kidnapped in the first instance.

He made the comments on Thursday, when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“For the Nigerian Government to even celebrate the release of these girls, they should hide their heads in shame, these girls should not have been kidnapped in the first place.

“The government should have lived up to its responsibility and learnt from the mistake of the PDP government in the case of the Chibok Girls,” Ogundamisi said.

Speaking further, the analyst also took a swipe at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had accused the APC of ‘scripting’ the abduction of the schoolgirls.

 

He also criticized the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who had accused the Government of complicity in the abduction of the Dapchi Girls.

Ogundamisis said: “Watching Governor Fayose, personally as a father of three girls, it is shameful.

“It is disgraceful, then hearing the PDP, the opposition party treat real tragedy of human beings, in this way, I feel so uncomfortable and I cannot believe I come from the same country as those elements.

“To play politics with the lives of helpless, harmless innocent children in our country is disgraceful and I think the supporters of the PDP should knock sense into the head of people like Governor Fayose.”

He, however, stressed the need for all political and ethnic groups to unite at a crucial time for the nation such as this.

“As a country, this is the time we need to unite whether you’re PDP, APC or whoever you are, whether from the south or north because if there is fire in Maiduguri or Yobe, there is fire all over Nigeria.

“We need to drop our political differences and come together.”

Pursue Your Dreams Without Fear, Buhari Tells Dapchi Schoolgirls

Pursue Your Dreams Without Fear, Buhari Tells Dapchi Schoolgirls
President Buhari speaks when he received the Dapchi schoolgirls and others at the State House in Abuja on March 23, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Dapchi Schoolgirls who regained freedom from Boko Haram terrorists to pursue their dreams without fear.

The President said this when he received the girls as well as a boy and one other girl on Friday at the State House in Abuja.

The girls were released on Wednesday, after members of the outlawed group abducted them from the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, in Yobe State on February 19.

READ ALSOFG Ready To Rehabilitate Repentant Boko Haram Members – Buhari

President Buhari, however, assured them of their security and that efforts are on to also secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls and other Nigerians in captivity of the terrorists.

“To the rescued students, we want to reassure you as our daughters that you will freely live and pursue your dreams in Nigeria of peace and order, without fear of violence or molestation,” he said.

“While parents of the Dapchi girls rejoice because of the reunion with their children, I want to appeal to the Chibok Community never to lose hope or to despair. We are determined as never before, to bring back our remaining Chibok daughters and this, we must accomplish and that will be soon, by God’s grace,” he added.

 

Unconditional Release

The delighted President formally announced that 105 Dapchi schoolgirls and two others previously abducted by the insurgents were unconditionally released by their abductors.

He noted that the development which he described as “cheering and hearty” signifies the commitment of his administration to the security and well-being of all Nigerians.

President Buhari further recalled his visit to Yobe State on Wednesday last week during which he sympathised with the parents, families, and people of the state on the tragic abduction of the students in Dapchi.

He added that he had made a solemn pledge “on my word of honour” that the Federal Government would do everything possible to ensure their unconditional release of the girls.

“We are never in doubt about our focus and direction since the assumption of this administration – security, anti-corruption and revamping of our economy are the main focus of our government,” President Buhari avowed.

On the approach taken to secure the girls’ release, he said: “We reached out to our contacts at home and abroad, we embarked on backchannel shuttles with a clear view to bringing to an end this tragedy.”

“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,” the President added.

See photos of the girls at the Aso Villa below:

President Buhari Receives Freed Dapchi Schoolgirls, Others

President Buhari speaks when he received the Dapchi schoolgirls and others at the State House in Abuja on March 23, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the Dapchi schoolgirls and others who recently regained freedom from the Boko Haram terrorists.

The President received the freed schoolgirls as well as a boy and one other girl on Friday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

READ ALSO: Pursue Your Dreams Without Fear, Buhari Tells Dapchi Schoolgirls

President Buhari met with them in company with some top government officials, including his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali.

The schoolgirls were released on Wednesday, more than four weeks after the insurgents invaded the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, in Yobe State.

FG Ready To Rehabilitate Repentant Boko Haram Members – Buhari

See photos of the girls at the Aso Villa below:

Fayose Accuses FG Of Complicity In Abduction Of Dapchi Girls

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose

 

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Thursday accused the Federal Government of complicity in the abduction of the Dapchi Girls.

He said no credit should go to the Federal Government on the returned Dapchi girls, but rather believes that the disappearance and reappearance of the girls is a laughable arrangement for which some people are already smiling to the banks.

According to him, ” The way and manner in which the Dapchi girls were abducted and returned is a clear demonstration that the federal government is fooling itself and not Nigerians as the whole process is shrouded in secrecy, raising more questions than answers.”

“ The holes earlier picked in the way the abduction was successfully carried out has put a tag of failure on the Buhari administration especially in the area of security which it promised Nigerians it will handle well.

”The removal of military checkpoints in Dapchi ahead of the abduction, as confirmed by the Governor of Yobe state, clearly shows the complicity of the federal government and some individuals profiting from the whole saga.”

He commiserated with the families of the girls lost to the abduction while appealing to Nigerians to keep hope alive as there are better times ahead.

PDP Says FG Scripted Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Abduction, Asks UN To Investigate

2019 Elections: APC Has 'Pathetically' Lost It All – PDP

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of ‘scripting’ the abduction of the schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday, the party called on the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the incident, which it said was a scripted drama by the APC in the bid to seek re-election in 2019.

“Our Party considers this act as wicked, callous and tormenting to use innocent schoolgirls as pawns in an ignoble script that was designed to hoodwink Nigerians, all to push a 2019 reelection bid,” the statement issued in reaction to the release of most of the abducted girls read in part.

“While this failed Dapchi drama remains a poorly crafted tragicomedy: a scam of no equal dimension, Nigerians are not ready to forgive the APC and the Presidency for the torments inflicted on the girls.”

The party further alleged that there is no evidence to show that the schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents and demanded to see the reports by the National Security Adviser (NSA) who was asked by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the abduction.

“There is no evidence that the Boko Haram insurgents or any militant group abducted the schoolgirls in the first place. Rather, what is evident to all is the high-level official manipulation of security movements in Dapchi both in the staged abduction and the returning of the traumatised schoolgirls.”

“It is instructive to note that till date, no report has been presented by the National Security Adviser (NSA), who has been charged by President Muhammadu Buhari with the investigation of the abduction. This is in addition to deliberate efforts by the government to suppress the free flow of information around the abduction.”

The PDP, therefore, called on the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court to commence an investigation into the matter, demanding the arrest and prosecution of all those involved.

They also demand the setting up of a UN-monitored Truth Commission to unravel the facts around the Dapchi event as well as the abduction of Schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State in 2014.

Freed Dapchi Schoolgirls Airlifted To Abuja

The Federal Government Delegation meets the freed Dapchi schoolgirls at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Maiguduri on Wednesday.

 

The abducted Dapchi schoolgirls who regained their freedom on Wednesday have been airlifted to Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

They were flown to Abuja aboard a military plane from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital after being handed over to the Federal Government by the military there.

Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, handed over the freed girls to a four-member Federal Government delegation in the evening.

The delegation comprised of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim; and a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawan Bukar, from Dapchi.

Of the 110 girls snatched by Boko Haram on February 19, the Federal Government said 104 were returned by the terrorists with six unaccounted for.

They were freed with two minors – a boy and a girl – who were also airlifted to Abuja with the schoolgirls.

The Federal Government had initially put the number of girls freed at 76 before revising it upwards – to 101, 105 and 104 after verification.

 

Mixed reactions

The abduction of the girls had sparked outrage and forced many to recall the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State in 2014. More than a hundred of the Chibok girls are still in captivity.

While Wednesday’s news led to jubilation in Dapchi and other parts of the country, some had mixed reactions about it and called into question the manner of their release and the terms. There were also questions about the fate of the six girls that were not returned.

The Minister of Information and Culture, however, said the girls were released unconditionally.

“What happened was that the abduction itself was a breach of the ceasefire talks between the insurgents and the government, hence it became a moral burden on the abductors. Any report that we paid ransom or engaged in prisoner swap is false,” he said.

The ruling All Progressives Congress also welcomed the news in a statement and assured Nigerians that the remaining Chibok girls would be freed, while also taking a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party.

“If the immediate-past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration had responded with the similar alacrity, the Chibok schoolgirls would have been released or rescued. Instead, the PDP wasted several weeks wallowing in denial and conspiracy theories such that it was now left for the APC government to rescue many of the girls and rehabilitate them.”

The PDP, for its part, believes the Dapchi abduction was staged for political gain.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday, it called on the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the incident.

“Our Party considers this act as wicked, callous and tormenting to use innocent schoolgirls as pawns in an ignoble script that was designed to hoodwink Nigerians, all to push a 2019 reelection bid,” it said.

“While this failed Dapchi drama remains a poorly crafted tragicomedy: a scam of no equal dimension, Nigerians are not ready to forgive the APC and the Presidency for the torments inflicted on the girls.”

Knocks And Kudos Greet Return Of Dapchi Schoolgirls

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2018 a watchman stands at the gate of the deserted student boarding of Government Girls Technical College, where 110 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists at Dapchi town. PHOTO: AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP

 

Mixed reactions have trailed the return of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe State.

The schoolgirls were reportedly dropped in the community on Wednesday morning, more than four weeks after they were kidnapped.

READ ALSO: Ezekwesili, Others React To Return Of Dapchi Schoolgirls

Nigerians in reaction to this news have taken to social media to view their opinion. While some expressed great delight on the return of the schoolgirls, others demand more explanation on the ‘sudden return’ with no arrests made, despite the heavy security agents deployed to secure the state.

However, the Federal Government has said that the release of the schoolgirls by Boko Haram terrorists was unconditional.

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed on Wednesday said: “the girls were released in the wee hours of Wednesday through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country.”

See the mixed reactions below…

 

Jubilation As Abducted Dapchi Schoolgirls ‘Return’

Abducted Dapchi Schoolgirls 'Return'
Some of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls who regained freedom from Boko Haram terrorists on March 21, 2018.

There was jubilation in Dapchi town in Yobe State on Wednesday as Boko Haram freed most of the girls it abducted from the  Government Science and Technical College in the town.

Unfortunately, at least two of the girls are reported to have died as a result of the trauma while one of them was not released.

READ ALSO: Abducted Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Release Unconditional, Says FG

One of the girls told Channels Television in an interview on Wednesday, hours after their release arrival that they were not maltreated throughout the period in captivity.

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

We Won’t Rest Until Chibok, Dapchi Schoolgirls Are Free, Says Buhari

Some of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls who regained freedom from Boko Haram terrorists on March 21, 2018.

– Terrorists Invasion –

Members of the outlawed group had stormed the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, on February 19 and abducted many students from the school.

The Federal Government had consequently declared that 110 students were unaccounted for after the school was invaded. It had also increased security presence in schools across the state in a bid to prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.

Amid calls for the girls’ return, President Muhammadu Buhari paid a condolence visit to Yobe State and sympathised with the families of those whose children were abducted by the insurgents.

He told the parents of the students that his administration would not rest until all the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls in the Boko Haram custody were released and reunited with their families.

In another meeting with Mr Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State who was sacked recently, President Buhari explained why the government had “chosen negotiation” to secure the return of the girls rather than use military force.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” he had said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had also given a hint that troops were already closing in on the girls and their abductors.

“It can be earlier; maybe a week, it can be two weeks, but we are on it, and I’m telling you with all sense of sincerity that we are closing in on them,” Dan-Ali said during an interview on Dateline Abuja, a Channels Television’s programme which aired on Saturday last week.