Friday, 8 July 2016
President Buhari approves fresh probe of missing Chibok girls
President Muhammadu Buhari has finally approved the list of committee members to carry out fresh investigation into the abduction of over 200 girls from Government Girls School, Chibok, Borno State on the 14th of April 2014, by the terrorist sect, Boko Haram.
The President had in January this year during a meeting with the BringBackOurGirls campaign group directed the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), to set up a committee that will carry out a fresh investigation into the abduction of the girls from their dormitories.
A top government source said the committee is set to commence it’s work as the President has recently approved the list of members submitted to him.
According to the source, the President had instructed that the members should be contacted for consent before their names will be made public.
The source who pleaded anonymity said that the President wants to get to the root of the matter and know what exactly happened , adding that findings from the investigation will facilitate the release of the girls.
According to the source, the committee’s terms of reference include amongst other things, to carry out fresh investigations on the abduction and the circumstances surrounding it.
Recall that while some of the girls managed to escape from their captors, the whereabouts of most of them is still in doubt, though the President had in different fora said his priority was to see to the safe return of the girls. He had also said government had no credible intelligence on their specific location.
While President Buhari had on several occasions declared that his government had no concrete evidence on the whereabout of the girls, the Nigerian military had in April this year given the parents of the girls some hope, saying most of the girls were still alive and held in Sambisa Forest, close to the Chad-Niger border.
Immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan had in the wake of the abduction set up a 26-member fact-finding committee led by Ibrahim Sabo to investigate the abduction as well as ascertain the exact number of students missing.
The former government it appeared had also been in doubt as to whether the abduction actually took place. Submitting his report, Sabo had confirmed the abduction stating that “as most Nigerians already know, there were some persons who doubted whether any student was abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok. On the other hand, for those who believed that there was an abduction, there were lingering doubts as to how such a number of kidnap victims were conveyed, considering also that information was sparse as to how the raiding insurgents evacuated the victims.”
Sabo’s committee had confirmed the abduction of 276 girls adding that 57 of the girls managed to escape from their captors.
The rescue of Amina Ali in May this year, one of the girls who had given birth to a daughter during the period she was in captivity, had rekindled hope of the girls being found.
President Buhari who met Amina alongside her mother and brother, had said her rescue has opened a new window of hope and an opportunity towards getting vital information to help the process of getting the other girls.