The Nigerian presidency has dismissed concerns over the prolonged abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State, saying the government has no time limit to return the long-suffering teenagers alive to their families.
According to Premium Times, the message, delivered Monday by a presidential spokesperson, appeared to imply that the government is taking its time to rescue the girls who have been in Boko Haram captivity for nearly nine months.
Speaking on Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, said the government had no time limit on when the girls should be expected home alive.
There is no time limit for returning the girls alive, the issue of the Chibok girls is a national tragedy that must be borne with fortitude. Government has not given up on finding and rescuing the girls.
The Chibok girls’ case remains a major thorn in the flesh of this administration, and assured that the government would have done anything possible to have them released if that were possible “yesterday”. The issue demanded extreme caution to avoid losing the girls.
The rescue of over 200 girls must be handled with utmost care.Any mistake will lead to their death. That is why we (the government) are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Chad’s President Idriss Deby, is an indication of the extent the government would be prepared to go to have the girls back.Doyin Okupe
The girls were kidnapped on April 14 by the extremist group, which has recently seized territories in Nigeria and is pushing for the creation of an Islamic State.
The Nigerian government has in the past ruled out the use of force for the rescue of the girls.
Attempts at negotiations have also failed, the biggest being a ceasefire the government said it agreed with Boko Haram in October, which turned out false.
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