As Nigeria marks the third anniversary of the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls, President Muhammadu Buhari has said government was willing to bend over backwards to secure the release of the remaining girls.
In a message to mark the anniversary coming up on Friday, Buhari said that government had reached out to their captors, through local and international intermediaries.
The government was ever ready to do everything within its means to ensure the safe release of all the girls, Buhari said on Thursday in Abuja.
About 276 girls were abducted by the terrorists on April 14, 2014 at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram.
No fewer than 50 of the girls escaped from their captors and 24 were released after negotiation by the government with the aid of International Red Cross and Swedish government.
He sent his appreciation to the parents and families that have endured three years of agony and waiting for the return of their children.
As a parent, he said that he was eternally grateful to God that some of the girls were found alive and have been reunited with their families.
The President said that Nigeria’s intelligence and security forces demonstrated their competence and were equal to the task and absolutely committed to the efforts to find and return the schoolgirls and others abducted by Boko Haram.
The abduction, he said, was one of the worst crimes committed against Nigeria.
The government, he explained, was determined to secure the release of the Chibok girls and others forcefully abducted from their homes and communities and retake the occupied territories.
The administration gave the necessary political and logistical backing which energised “gallant’’ members of our armed forces and other security agencies to overrun the headquarters of Boko Haram in the Sambisa Forest and scatter the terrorists from their strong base.
The world, he advised, should recognise that terrorism had no borders and remained a growing concern which needed collective efforts to curtail.
He appealed to all Nigerians and residents in the country to remain extra vigilant and to report any suspicious element or group to the security agencies.
He thanked Lake Chad Basin countries, friendly nations and international partners, who at various points in the last three years have offered their support for Nigeria.