Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Rescue on the Way for Chibok Girls, Says Obanikoro

Based on the allegations that the rescue efforts for the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State had slowed down, the federal government at the weekend said it was working assiduously to rescue them at all cost.

The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, made this disclosure at the graduation ceremony of 404 retirees drawn from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigerian Navy (NN) collectively held at Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos.

The minister, however, failed to elaborate on the form of rescue that would come the way of the kidnapped students who have spent two months in captivity.

The ceremony held under the purview of NAFRC's Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan, saw the graduation of military personnel who had voluntarily retired from the Nigerian military after 35 years in service or have done the first mandatory 10 years.

While giving the assurance of the Chibok girl's rescue, Obanikoro said President Goodluck Jonathan was pained by the abduction of the girls and was doing everything humanly possible to ensure that the abducted girls are rescued and returned to their respective families.

He said: “Let me say that as a father, all hands are on deck to ensure that those girls are brought back. I know, because I see the president everyday and I know he is pained that those girls are out there.

"All it takes to appreciate what the president is going through is to sit back and switch roles , so you can imagine the pain. I am also pained because I have daughters and I would not want them abducted for anything and having said that I want to let you know that everything humanly possible is being done to return those girls."
Obanikoro also said efforts are on to put in place veteran hospitals to cater for retired members of the military and ensure that their health needs are taken care of.

He said: "The federal government has recently approved the inclusion of retired military personnel in the National Health Insurance Scheme. This decision was a clear indication that the country appreciates the service of military personnel.

"The government is not relenting in its effort to ensure that retirement life is made worthwhile  for military personnel by ensuring that service personnel are properly resettled after gallantry and meritorious service to fatherland."

Urging the retirees to be good ambassadors of the military while in retirement through acts that will foster peace, he said they should be prepared to continue to contribute their quota to consolidate the gains of the country’s democratic process and nation building efforts.

Earlier, the Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Morgan, said the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, had approved a bill to transform the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) into a National Resettlement Institute.

He said: "The mandate of NAFRC is to equip retiring personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces with relevant trade and vocational skills to enable them integrate into civil society and enjoy a productive and fulfilling life in retirement.

"In line with the centre's vision to ensure a fulfilling retirement for its personnel, we are desirous to transform it to a world class training institute that would favourably compete with similar institutes elsewhere."
In another development, the Save Democracy Group, (SDG) led by its National Coordinator, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to review the offer of assistance made by some international communities in the efforts to free the abducted Chibok schoolgirls as their assistance has not yielded any significant success.
Speaking at its second quarter state of the nation address in Abuja at the weekend, the group wondered  why after over one month  the United States, Great Britain, France and other international communities
pledged to assist Nigeria free the abducted schoolgirls and help stem the terrorist activities, nothing significant has been achieved.

According to the coordinator,  the federal government should  review those offers of assistance so as to discard the ones found not to be useful to our fight against terrorism.

Though he commended the international community for the outpour of solidarity and support in the war against terrorism,  he expressed surprise that with the offer of help and the media hype associated with it, nothing visible had been done  to hasten the release of these girls.

"We are not happy that despite these supports and assistance promised from a number of countries across the globe, the abducted Chibok girls are till now yet to be freed."

While warning against electoral violence in the coming general election, Okwenna said: "Politicians should note that this country is entrusted in their hands and they are expected to guide it jealously.
"The current 'do or die' politicking should be discarded. Politics and power chase ought to be a game. It is a relay race. It has a tenure. If you don't get it now probably you will get it tomorrow, but you cannot get it at all if you decide to rock the boat.

"Let us warn those adventurists who think they can jump to power through any undemocratic means to forget that impossible tracjectory."
It also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the Ekiti State election remained free, fair and credible and that the votes of the people count in the June 21 governorship election.
"We equally implore INEC to ensure the continuous voter registration is really continuous such that whoever has his name removed from the voter register or has never registered before will always have the opportunity to get registered whenever he so wishes," he said.
Suspected Boko Haram Insurgents Attack Cameroun Village

More than 300 armed men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect have attacked the village of Gorsi Tourou in Cameroun, burning churches and looting property, according to the Voice of America (VOA).
Cameroun's Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma, said there were many casualties, but that soldiers managed to repel the attackers.

"Our defence forces responded and one of their vehicles and a war weapon of Kalashnikov type was seized," he said. "Defeated, the attackers went adding on the run and disappeared within the Nigerian territory."
Seven bodies believed to be Boko Haram militants were buried by Cameroun's soldiers.

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