The Federal Government has explained why Boko Haram released abducted Dapchi girls within one month.
The sect had abducted Chibok school girls in April 2014 and still holds dozens of them in captivity.
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a press conference yesterday, said the Buhari administration was more proactive in the recent case.
His words: “As I have said time and again, there is no government that will not face tragedies. What makes the difference is how such tragedies are managed.
“President Buhari put this in perspective when he said the response of his administration is a marked departure from the attitude of the preceding administration in the aftermath of the kidnap of the 276 Chibok girls in 2014.
“Whereas it took that administration 18 days to even acknowledge the kidnap of the girls, the current administration was responsive and was not in denial. No stone was left unturned to secure the release of the girls. For the record, the following actions were taken:
The President sent FG’s delegation twice to Dapchi and Damaturu, within four days, to engage in fact-finding and to condole with the government and people of Yobe State and the families of the abducted girls. I was on both delegations.
The President ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief him on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls.
The President ordered the re-strengthening of a Joint Operational Base involving relevant agencies and Services to coordinate the rescue mission. Consequently, the Service Commanders established a unified Command Centre in Maiduguri, and the Military also raised several rescue teams to comb the forests in the North East Theatre of Operation.
The Nigerian Air Force maintained aerial surveillance of the area all through.
“It was not a surprise, therefore, that this abduction ended about a month after it occurred, and that most of the girls are free.”
Meanwhile, the FG has reacted to the alleged revelation by a certain Sergeant, David Bako, who claimed there was a top level conspiracy that stage-managed the abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls on 19 February.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while reacting to the report yesterday, described it as unfounded and social media lies.
Mohammed spoke in Lagos in response to the news on social media since the abduction and return of scores of Dapchi schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents.
“I can tell you categorically that this David Bako is fake. There is no such soldier in the Nigerian Army. There was no conspiracy anywhere. The intention of those behind the disinformation and fake news is to cause disaffection between Christians and Muslims, and between Southerners and Northerners,” he said.
“This Administration’s success in seeking an early release of the Dapchi girls has ruffled many feathers. It has upturned a lot of plans by naysayers. They have not been able to sleep since the girls came back. Their campaign to unseat President Buhari is fuelling their desperation. Nigerians should prepare to see more avalanche of disinformation and fake news. But they should not lend any credibility to such reports. They belong to the trash can!
“This was done in concert with a friendly country, international organization and trusted facilitators, he said.
“A total of 111 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary and Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi on 19 Feb. 2018. That means one student was not captured on the list of 110 abducted students that was compiled by the school, on the basis of which the Federal Government gave the number of abducted schoolgirls as 110.
“Also kidnapped were two other persons, who are not students of the college. They include a primary school boy who came to the school to sell pure water and another primary school girl. That brings the total number of abducted persons on that day to 113.
“So far, a total of 107 persons, comprising 105 Dapchi schoolgirls and the two non-students, have been released by the insurgents.
“Six Dapchi schoolgirls are yet unaccounted for. All efforts will be made to secure their release,” he added.