PMB set to Meet Boko Haram on Chibok Girls - Sabi Tips


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PMB set to Meet Boko Haram on Chibok Girls

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to dialogue with Boko Haram over the Chibok girls issue
– Buhari has reiterated that he is prepared to find the missing girls and bring them home
– PMB says he will only dialogue with the real leaders of the Boko Haram sect

My government is prepared to discuss with Boko Haram, for the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls, says President Muhammdu Buhari. Some Chibok girls, as recently shown in a new video by Boko Haram.

In an interview with journalists in Nairobi, Kenya, at the weekend, Buhari reiterated the preparedness of the Federal Government to discuss the release of the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terror group since 2014.

NAN quoted the President as saying that the Nigerian government is ready to dialogue with bonafide leaders of the terror group who know the whereabouts of the girls.

‘‘I have made a couple of comments on the Chibok girls and it seems to me that much of it has been politicised.
‘‘What we said is that the government which I preside over is prepared to talk to bonafide leaders of Boko Haram.

‘‘If they do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognised Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know.

‘‘If they do it through the ‘modified leadership’ of Boko Haram and they talk with an internationally recognised NGO then Nigeria will be prepared to discuss for their release,’’ he said.
President Buhari, who spoke to the media on the margins of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), warned that the Federal Government will not waste time and resources with “doubtful sources’’ claiming to know the whereabouts of the girls.
Crying parents of missing Chibok girls

‘‘We want those girls out and safe. The faster we can recover them and hand them over to their parents, the better for us.’’

The President maintained that the terror group, which pledged allegiance to ISIS, has been largely decimated by the gallant Nigerian military with the support of immediate neighbours from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin.

‘‘Some of the information about the division in Boko Haram is already in the press and I have read in the papers about the conflict in their leadership.

‘‘The person known in Nigeria as their leader, we understand was edged out and the Nigerian members of Boko Haram started turning themselves to the Nigerian military.

‘‘We learnt that in an air strike by the Nigeria Air Force he was wounded. Indeed their top hierarchy and lower cadre have a problem and we know this because when we came into power, they were holding 14 out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria. But now they are not holding any territory and they have split to small groups attacking soft targets.

On the militancy in the Niger Delta region, the President said the Federal Government is also open to dialogue to resolve all contending issues in the area.

‘‘We do not believe that they (the militants) have announced ceasefire. We are trying to understand them more. Who are their leaders and which areas do they operate and other relevant issues,’’ he said.
Some Chibok girls were reportedly killed during an air strike by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

In the same vein, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has dismissed claims by the Boko Haram that it killed some of the abducted Chibok girls in an air raid at Sambisa Forest, a haven for terrorists in northeast Borno state.

In a recent video released by Boko Haram few weeks ago, the terrorist group claimed that air strikes killed 40 of the over 200 girls abducted from their dormitory in a secondary school in Chibok on April 14, 2014.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, denied the claims of the terrorist group, describing it as false and a complete propaganda.

He made the clarification to reporters on Saturday during the commissioning of some newly completed projects at the Air Force Base in Kaduna State also in northern Nigeria.

While describing the video released by the insurgents as diversionary, Air Marshal Abubakar said the ongoing air bombardment against the terrorists at Sambisa Forest was being carried out in professional manner to avoid a collateral damage.

The Chief of Air Staff was at the 335 Base Services Group’s Air Force Base, Mando, Kaduna State to commission some projects initiated by his administration few months ago.
Some of the projects include the Ground Training Centre Airmen Instructors Quarters and Recruits camp.

The Air Force boss reiterated his administration’s determination to address accommodation challenges being faced by officials and improve their welfare which he said were key in boosting their morale towards winning the war against insurgents in the northeast and other operational areas in Nigeria.

Announcing plans by his administration to ensure that both officials of the service have their own houses upon retirement, Air Marshal Abubakar asked them not to relent in their duties in protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has said despite its inability to free the Chibok girls, troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists deserve commendation and encouragement, having recorded major gains including “daily rescue of human beings.”

On Saturday, August 27, defense spokesperson, Rabe Abubakar, said
“our efforts and major gains” should not be overshadowed by the grim situation of still having Chibok girls in the terrorists’ captivity.

“Boko Haram abduction has reduced by 99 percent, except in very remote villages where they harass citizens while looking for food,” Mr. Abubakar, a Brigadier-General, said.

“Every day we rescue human beings. There’s no day we don’t kill terrorists. We launched operation crackdown on Sambisa. On Thursday, we rescued over 300 human beings.
“From day one we moved to Maiduguri to establish command and control centre there, we have been rescuing human beings on daily basis. Many things have been done. We are giving our best commitment.

“Troops should he supported and encouraged, not otherwise because of these (Chibok) girls still in captivity.”
On April 14, 2014, 276 school girls -with 58 rescued – were abducted in Chibok, Borno state, by Boko Haram. The abduction sparked blaze of global outrage, and birthed BringBackOurGirls movement, campaigning for the rescue of the girls.

Police officers last week blocked the campaigners who were marching to the State House to demand President Muhammadu Buhari ensure freedom for the Chibok girls.
But the Defense spokesperson urged the movement to be “holistic” and “not to focus on Chibok girls alone.”

He urged them to appreciate the success of freeing other Nigerians “with one life and parents as well”.
“Holistic in the sense that we should not just concentrate on Chibok girls. There are others we have rescued. Those are like any other human beings, they have parents as well, and they have one life.”

Mr. Abubakar said one of the victims rescued recently had been with the Boko Haram for four years.
On the Chibok girls, he said “Boko Haram may be using them as human shield but we are equal to the task. Nobody is more committed to solving this problem than the armed forces.”

The spokesperson said he could not give a definite period of success of rescue operations. He said with ongoing operations, hope of rescuing all “Boko Haram captives, not just Chibok girls” should be kept alive.

“The operation is still going on. Our soldiers are there and we are on daily basis rescuing human beings. On daily basis we destroy IEDS they planted on the road, on daily basis we kill terrorists.”
The general expressed disdain for “some people somewhere in Abuja or Lagos in air condition, talking as if they were not part and parcel of this country.”

“That’s the most annoying thing,” he said.
“Even if the constitution gives everybody the right to talk, there must he high level of decorum especially when some people are showing greatest commitment towards the rescue of these girls and every other persons.

He said the military had been “extremely careful” not put lives of the Chibok girls in jeopardy.
“We must take necessary caution. We must be very careful so as not to jeopardise the lives of these girls. We are doing what we are doing with maximum caution. We don’t want to put their lives in jeopardy, but some people ignore all these things. How many years did it take US to get Osama Laden, just one person, with all their resources?”

The size of the Sambisa forest, believed to be the base of the Boko Haram and location of the Chibok girls, is a disadvantage in the war, Mr Abubakar said.
“Sambisa is 67,000 sq kilometre. Even if you deploy one million troops there, it’s not enough.”
“The military share the pains of the Chibok parents and every Nigerian,” he said, adding that, “security matter should separated from politics and sentiments.”

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