Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has been able to decimate the deadly Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast and working daily to ensure the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
Mohammed who was speaking on a live Channels TV program titled, ‘Nigeria at 56: Recursive, Resilient, Rising’, said the fact that the Chibok schoolgirls were yet to be rescued should not be a yardstick to write off the achievements of government.
He added that no group, local or international, could claim to have more stake or to be more committed to the quest of rescuing the girls than the government.
Mohammed added that the issue of the rescue of the girls was a humanitarian one that everyone or group should be “passionate but rational about” and added that the current administration remained committed to rescuing the girls.
“The north-east is free now, students are returning to schools, all the towns and communities hitherto under the control of the terrorists have been liberated and those who fled their homes are gradually returning,” he said.
He recalled that the Buhari administration came on board 410 days after the abduction, and alleged that the previous government had no clue to rescue the captives.
Mohammed said in all cases of abduction, especially by insurgents, 24 hours was critical to ensuring prompt rescue, adding that the government in power then did not utilise the intelligence then.
He added that current administration had thrice established links with Boko Haram for the exchange of the abducted girls with arrested members of the group.
He explained that on each occasion, the efforts were thwarted by the link with the insurgents, fresh demands by Boko Haram or division in the camp of the group.
Mohammed said government appreciated the efforts of the “Bring Back Our Girls” (BBOG) group but noted that “the administration is as concerned as they are and ready to work with them in ensuring the release of the girls.”