Health Care

Buhari Assures Parents Of Abducted Chibok Girls Of Their Safe Return

Buhari Assures Parents Of Abducted Chibok Girls Of Their Safe Return”

On Saturday, the #BringBackOurGirls movement is to hold an anniversary lecture in the capital Abuja. President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 rode to power on promises to end the insurgency.

Some of the girls had regained their freedom while about 100 of them are yet to be released by their abductors.

Another activist, Habiba Balogun, said she hoped that would happen after almost nine years of violence that has left at least 20,000 dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless.

Buhari, who is in the United Kingdom to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting assured the parents that: their daughters will never be forgotten or abandoned to their fate, despite four long years since they were taken away by terrorists.

He said troops of 28 Brigade on another "clearance patrol", also with hunters and vigilantes, to Jaje "neutralised" three Boko Haram fighters during a gun battle. One girl was found by the Civilian Joint Taskforce in May 2017.

Buhari, in a message to the parents of the girls yesterday, urged the parents to keep their hopes alive on the return of their daughters.

"Three members of the Boko Haram terrorists were neutralized during the exchange of fire", he said.

"The four-year anniversary of the Chibok abduction reminds us that children in northeastern Nigeria continue to come under attack at a shocking scale", the statement quoted UNICEF representative in Nigeria Mohamed Malick Fall as saying.

Buhari urged the parents not to lose hope, adding that the government remains focused and determined to see the girls return to their homes.

Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war during the conflict, seizing women and girls to act as sex slaves or suicide bombers, and men and boys to fight.

Since the conflict started in northeastern Nigeria almost nine years ago, at least 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed, UNICEF said, adding that most of these schools have not reopened "because of extensive damage or ongoing insecurity".

The government needed to deliver "meaningful action on behalf of all these victims of Boko Haram's crimes".

The International Crisis Group meanwhile said the copycat abduction in Dapchi showed more needed to be done to protect schoolchildren in the restive region. The U.N.'s report documented only verified cases, the first time it had published such a tally.

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