President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed on Friday that the negotiations between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram terrorists for the release of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls had suffered unexpected setbacks.
The president said this was mainly owing to a lack of agreement among the girls’ abductors whose internal differences, he explained, had led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the negotiations.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu, said he joined the Borno State government, the parents of the girls and Nigerians in commemorating the fourth anniversary of the sad incident, praying that the event at the daughters’ school on Saturday would go well.
Buhari, however, assured the parents of the schoolgirls that were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014 that “their daughters will never be forgotten or abandoned to their fate, despite four long years since they were taken away by terrorists.’’
“Unfortunately, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram suffered some unexpected setbacks owing mainly to a lack of agreement among their abductors, whose internal differences have led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the talks.
“We know that this is not the news parents want to hear after four whole years of waiting, but we want to be as honest as possible with you.
“However, this government is not relenting. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up. Don’t give up hope of seeing our daughters back home again. Don’t lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfil our promise of reuniting you with our daughters.
“Don’t imagine for a moment that we have forgotten about our daughters or that we consider their freedom a lost course,’’ the president said
He urged the parents to keep their hopes alive on the return of their daughters, saying the recovery of more than a 100 of the girls that were kidnapped through the Federal Government’s determined effort should give confidence that all “hope is not lost”.
The president re-affirmed that the government remained focused and determined to see the girls return to their homes.
He asked the parents to be expectant of more good news in due course.
“We are concerned and aware that it is taking long to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors,” Buhari said.
He assured that as long as he remains the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Chibok girls would never be forgotten and all would be done to have them reunited with their families.