President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the theft of the 219 girls from Government Secondary Chibok, Borno State in April 2014.
The investigation would seek to, among other things, unravel the remote and immediate circumstances leading to the kidnap of the girls by Boko Haram terrorists as well as the other events, actions and inaction that followed the incident.
This plan was revealed on Thursday when President Buhari met with some of the parents of the Chibok girls behind closed doors.
The President assured the parents that he remained fully committed to his pledge to do all within his powers to save the girls.
“I assure you that I go to bed and wake up every day with the Chibok girls on my mind.
“The unfortunate incident happened before this government came into being.
“What have we done since we assumed office? We re-organized the military, removed all the service chiefs and ordered the succeeding service chiefs to deal decisively with the Boko Haram insurgency.
“In spite of the terrible economic condition we found ourselves in, we tried to get some resources to give to the military to reorganize and equip, retrain, deploy more troops and move more forcefully against Boko Haram.
“And you all know the progress we have made. When we came in Boko Haram was in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Boko Haram has now been reduced to areas around Lake Chad.
“Securing the Chibok girls is my responsibility. The service chiefs and heads of our security agencies will tell you that in spite of the dire financial straits that we found the country in, I continue to do my best to support their efforts in that regard.
“This is a Nigeria where we were exporting average of two million barrels per day at over 140 dollars per barrel. Now it is down to about 27 to 30 dollars.
“You have been reading in the press how they took public funds, our funds, your funds and shared it, instead of buying weapons. That was the kind of leadership I succeeded. That was the kind of economy I inherited.
“God knows I have done my best and I will continue to do my best,” President Buhari said.
The President was accompanied by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai and the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd).
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence staff told the meeting that in the last three months the military has liberated more than 3,000 people kidnapped by Boko Haram in the North eastern part of the country.
He said that the military had the ability to rescue the Chibok girls, but added that “intelligence is delicate and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the lives of the girls.”
The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group had on Thursday marched through the streets of Abuja to demand the rescue of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.
The BBOG group, alongside at least 115 parents of the abducted girls, took to the streets of the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday requesting that concerted efforts be made in the liberation of the girls.
One of the conveners of the BBOG, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, asked the Federal Government to do what it can to ensure that the girls were rescued.
According to her, “This particular administration must be seen to exhaust every measure possible,” urging President Buhari to convince the parents of the missing girls that a ‘fierce urgency’ would be the basis of all measures to rescue the girls.