The Federal Government has pointed out that the recent efforts of the military, which has led to the routing of Boko Haram from most of the territories that were formerly under their control will amount to nothing, until the abducted Chibok schoolgirls are rescued alive.
Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, on Tuesday, stated this during a meeting with representatives of the Chibok community at the finance headquarters in Abuja.
Omeri, who spoke to the representatives, said the government had always considered the task of rescuing the girls a ‘top national priority’.
He further told them that government recognised the need to keep the parents of the girls and community informed on developments which led to the creation of the information centre on whose platform he had been disseminating periodic information to the public.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia, representing the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, assured them of the Federal Government’s commitment to rescuing the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and to also update them on the status of the safe school initiative.
She informed the representatives of the Chibok community that government had never relented in its efforts at the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls and had been pursuing a two-pronged approach— pursuing the release of the abducted girls, as well as ensuring that the children at home were able to go back to schools that were safe and secure.
She noted that to fold hands and do nothing would mean accepting defeat, which was exactly what Boko Haram agenda was, that is, to stop Nigerians from going to school.
The Permanent Secretary informed them that the architectural model of the Chibok Secondary School was ready along with the budget, adding that the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers had been mobilised to commence construction.
She, however, stated clearly that this was but part of the overall strategy of government for restoring sanity to the community, but that the rescue of the girls remained priority.
Representatives of the Chibok Community, who passionately spoke, encouraged the government to do all within its powers to secure the release of the girls while appreciating the efforts of government to reconstruct the school.
They expressed their dissatisfaction over the pace of progress and urged government to expedite action on the rescue of the girls.
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