We are working to secure release of remaining Chibok girls – Buhari

Chidi Samuel || A day after Nigeria’s Vice President Yomi Osinbajo disclosed that negotiations were ongoing with Boko Haram insurgents for the release of the remaining Chibok school girls, President Muhammadu Buhari has also reiterated the determination of his administration to do everything possible to secure the release of the remaining girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok three years ago.

In a message to mark the third anniversary of the abduction of the girls, the President confirmed that the administration was negotiating with the insurgents through intermediaries and that they are willing to be flexible to ensure the safe return of the girls.

The President in the letter which he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Wednesday noted that as a parent himself, he was grateful to God that some of the girls were found alive and have been reunited with their families.

He said, “Government is doing all within its powers to reintegrate the freed girls to normal life. Furthermore, Government is in constant touch through negotiations, through local intelligence to secure the release of the remaining girls and other abducted persons unharmed.

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“My special appreciation goes to the parents and families that have endured three years of agony and waiting for the return of their children. I feel what you feel. Your children are my children.

“On this solemn occasion, my appeal is that we must not lose hope on the return of our remaining schoolgirls.

“Our intelligence and security forces, who have aptly demonstrated their competence, are very much equal to the task and absolutely committed to the efforts to find and return the schoolgirls and others abducted by Boko Haram.

“I also thank Lake Chad Basin countries, friendly nations, and international partners, who at various points in the last three years have offered their support for Nigeria.

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“Like I have repeatedly said, the Federal Government is willing to bend over backward to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls. We have reached out to their captors, through local and international intermediaries, and we are ever ready to do everything within our means to ensure the safe release of all the girls.

“I wish to reassure the parents of the Chibok girls, all well-meaning Nigerians, organisations and the international community that as a government, we are unrelenting on the issue of the safe return of our children.

“I trust God that soon, our collective efforts will be rewarded with the safe return of our schoolgirls to their families, friends and their communities.”

The President said that the 2014 abduction of the girls was one of the worst crimes committed against Nigeria’s citizens.