The Federal Government has reportedly said that no group including theBringBackOurGirls campaign organisation has a higher stake than it in rescuing the more than 200 girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014.
Punch reported that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who said this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday also reiterated that the Federal Government was ready to negotiate with credible Boko Haram leaders for exchange of the girls with members of the group in prisons.
Mohammed said the Federal Government was ready to work with the BBOG, adding that the government had the same goal as the group.
This goal, he said, was to secure the safe return of the Chibok girls.
He said, “I want the BringBackOurGirlsto understand that this government appreciates what they are doing. We are all battling on the same side and we are as concerned as they are and we are well ready to work with them.
“Clearly, we need a closer working relationship so that there will be no communication gap. Clearly, I do not see the objective of the BBOG group as different from ours.”
While reiterating President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that there would be no closure to the Boko Haram issue until the Chibok girls were released and returned safely to their families, he noted that apart from the parents of the girls, no other individual or group had a higher stake in the release of the girls than the Federal Government.
Mohammed said there was no contradiction between the claim that the Boko Haram sect had been defeated and the fact that the girls remained in captivity.
He said, “There shall be no closure on the Boko Haram issue until and when the Chibok girls are released and returned to the safety of their families. That does not contradict what Mr. President had said that we have defeated Boko Haram.
“Of course, anybody who is familiar with the philosophy of insurgency will understand that it is not the regular kind of war where you sign an armistice and the guns become silent forever, rather it is a kind of guerrilla war.
“But what Mr. President said, which cannot be contradicted, is that as of May 29, 2015, when he took over, we had a chunk of our territory in the hands of Boko Haram. As of 2015, a part of the North-East could not be accessed because of the activities of the terrorists, but the same cannot be said about the area today.
“I want us to put things in correct perspective. Yes, the issue of the kidnap or abduction of the Chibok girls is one that should affect everybody, it is not out of place for anyone to be emotional about it but at the same time we must be rational in our approach to the issue.”
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