President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration remains committed to ensuring the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls who were abducted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, over four years ago.
112 girls are still in Boko Haram’s custody after militants invaded Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok and kidnapped 276 female students in April 2014.
While speaking during a bilateral meeting with Swiss president, Alain Berset, on the sidelines of the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Poland, on Monday, December 4, 2018, Buhari renewed his commitment to making sure the return of the remaining girls.
According to a statement signed by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he thanked the Swiss Confederation for its efforts and important role as intermediaries to secure the release of some Chibok girls in the past.
He also assured him that the issue of the remaining kidnapped girls and other abducted persons will remain a key priority for the Nigerian government.
”We will continue to make the safe release of the remaining Chibok girls a priority and will welcome any kind of support from any quarters to make this happen,” he said.
The president also discussed joint strategies to ensure the safe return of the girls with Berset, as the two leaders also discussed building on the past successes of securing the release of some of the Chibok girls and other abducted persons in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
“The President also welcomed the Swiss President’s commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and to ensure the safe release of the abducted school girls,” Shehu said.
Even though the Chibok girls were abducted during the administration of then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, President Buhari secured the release of 103 of them after he was inaugurated in 2015.
In a report that was published by the Wall Street Journal in December 2017, President Buhari approved the payment of €3 million to Boko Haram to facilitate the release of the girls.
He approved the sum of €1 million for the release of 21 schoolgirls in October 2016, before approving another €2 million for the release of a further 82 girls in May 2017. Five Boko Haram commanders were also released by the Army as part of the deal.
Some of the other girls escaped from the terrorist group and were found by military personnel, but 112 remain unaccounted for.