|President Goodluck Jonathan|
The schoolgirls have spent more than 300 days in captivity since they were abducted in April 15 last year during their West African Examination Council final papers.
The President’s claim that the girls were still being kept by Boko Haram contradicted Abubakar Shekau’s statement in a video released in October 2014 to the media that he had married off the pupils. In a previous statement, the group’s leader had threatened to sell the girls as slave brides. Jonathan argued that if the schoolgirls had been killed, the Boko Haram insurgents’ commander, Shekau, would have released a video showing how they the girls were murdered.
According to the President, the Nigerian security forces are also wary of storming the main stronghold of the terrorists because they fear the insurgents may use the girls as shields. He said, “Because they may use them as shields so we are working with the global best practices. We can’t just move in with artillery and clear the place. The good story is that they’ve not been killed. They are still alive because when terrorists kill they display.”
The President however contradicted his assertion, during his Monday interview with the cable TV news channel, Al Jazeera that the Federal Government did not mishandle the Boko Haram insurgency, claiming that the insecurity problem did not start during his tenure.
Jonathan said, “At the beginning, we did not really estimate the capacity of Boko Haram. But over the years they continued to build their capacity with links with other terrorist groups. I believe we’ve got up to 65 per cent of what is needed to prosecute this war.” He added that the military force was winning the war against the insurgents, noting that only Madagali still remains under the control of the terrorist group in Adamawa State.
|Nigeria’s Minister for Aviation, Osita Chidoka|
According to Nigeria’s Minister for Aviation, Osita Chidoka, the abducted Chibok schoolgirls still being held by militant Islamist group Boko Haram are likely to have been dispersed and may or "may not” be found. Osita told BBC HARDtalk.
Refuting criticism of Nigeria's military, Mr Chidoka said the threat posed by Boko Haram can be contained and they are now working with neighbouring countries to counter the insurgency.