The outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria Dr. Andrew Pocock yesterday [Jul 7] said the abducted Chibok school girls were located but it’s practically impossible to rescue them safely. He also said his county was not advocate for dialogue with the Boko Haram sect, believed to have abducted the girls from their hostels last year.
Pocock who visited Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i made the remarks at an interactive session with journalists. He said “Our ability to return the Chibok girls is very limited. Well, after the abduction for some months it was clear that substantial group of girls were together. It was also clear that they were by no means all of them. It might be a group of 50 or 80; it’s very hard to tell. It presented a terrible dilemma to everybody, attempting to rescue substantial group of girls has two obvious problems; the risk to the attackers and to the girls.”
He said “It was possible that Boko Haram would have killed those girls. And I am not sure whether the military capacity existed for the rescue of these girls. So even though it was possible to say where some of the girls might have been, they were beyond rescue in practical terms. I think the only way for the return of the girls in my personal opinion is through the defeat of Boko Haram.”
He said deployment of security forces to the North-East to deal with insurgency was not enough adding that government must apply economic measures. The High Commissioner said it was not a better option to invoke dialogue with sect because they didn’t constitute a legitimate government.
“I don’t think we will advocate talking to people that abduct innocent civilians and cut peoples throat on video and show it to the rest of the world. But what we could be talking about is disarmament and rehabilitation process for those who are willing to put down their weapons,” he added.
- Daily Trust