President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration’s response to the February 19 abduction of 110 pupils of Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, was better than the response of the last administration to a similar abduction in Chibok, Borno State.
He said while the Federal Government under his watch swung into action immediately after the abduction, the last administration looked the other way when schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok in 2014.
Buhari spoke at a town hall meeting with traditional and community leaders, as well as other stakeholders in Damaturu, as part of activities lined up for his official visit to Yobe State.
Buhari, who arrived the state in a Nigerian Air Force helicopter via Maiduguri, touched down at the August 27th Stadium in Damaturu and was received by the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, among other top government functionaries.
The President, during the stakeholders’ meeting, said the commitment displayed by his administration had led to the rescue of more than 100 Chibok girls taken into captivity before he assumed office.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan was in the saddle when the Chibok girls were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
Buhari said, “The Federal Government’s response to the unfortunate abduction of the schoolgirls is a clear departure from the insensitivity of the past administration which looked the other way while the Chibok girls were taken away in 2014 and held in captivity for over three years.
“Due to our commitment, over 100 Chibok girls have been rescued and reunited with their families, sent back to school and empowered with requisite skills.
“You may recall that recently, our negotiation efforts led to the release of abducted University of Maiduguri lecturers, some women police personnel, students and even an NYSC member.
“We, therefore, have no doubt that the Dapchi girls will be rescued or released. I can assure parents, Nigerians and the international community that we will do all that is within our power to make sure that the girls are brought back safely to their families.”
“The Federal Government has set up a 12-member committee to unravel the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the students.
“The membership of the committee was drawn from among security agencies and local residents.
“It is my hope that any agency, person or group found to have been negligent or culpable in the abduction of the girls will be punished in accordance with the law,” he said.
The President further stated that he had ordered a 24-hour briefing to him by security agencies on their successes or challenges as regards the rescue mission.