Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday declared that the federal government’s silence on efforts to effect the release of the remaining 113 Chibok girls and others still in the custody of the terrorists group, Boko Haram, was strategic.
Osinbajo made this declaration while giving the assurance that the schoolgirls would, very soon, be released.
He said the silence of the government over the efforts being made was for security reason.
According to him, efforts were going on underground to effect their release.
Osinbajo who was represented by Babafemi Ojudu, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, spoke when he received members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The group was led by its convener, Oby Ezekwesili.
It would be recalled that 82 of the girls were released in May in a deal that saw their swapping with some members of the terrorists group.
Osinbajo said the government had been meeting with service chiefs over efforts to ensure the release of the girls and others in the custody of Boko Haram.
Said Ojudu: “I’ve been directed by the acting president to assure you of the support of the government concerning your agitation for the return of all the girls that were kidnapped by members of Boko Haram.
“He said he heard you loud and clear. On the issue of the policewomen that are being held and even concerning the girls, on a daily basis, the acting president has been meeting with security chiefs and making contacts with negotiators across the world, who have helped in the past to secure those that have been released.
“We have not, at any point, forgotten the children who could be anybody’s children. The acting president has asked me to reassure you, this afternoon, that he is with you, and that your cries are his cries.
“And the fact that we are not coming out to say what is being done is strategic and, also, for security reasons. He also said I should tell you that very soon, more of the girls, if not all of them, will be brought back home.”
Speaking at the occasion, Ezekwesili pleaded with the government to restrategise to ensure the quick return of the girls and others in the custody of Boko Haram.
“We thought the government had figured a way to get back our girls, so we estimated that the remaining 113 would return in lesser time it took the 82 to come home.
“If only one voice remains, that would continue to demand the release of our Chibok girls, it is good enough. It’s enough to re-echo our voice across the universe.”