The hashtag was everywhere in 2014 when hundreds of school-aged girls were kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists— shocking the world. Now, six years later, President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration has been trying to rescue the remaining 112 Chibok girls, deploying stealth measures through backdoor routes.
“The nation’s security and intelligence community, in whom a lot of hope is reposed in rescuing the abducted girls, is making a lot of efforts using backroom channels to get them back to their families,” Buhari said to residents in Borno States, according to The Guardian. “These are processes, formal and informal that involve different groups with links to the terrorists, and are very tedious and uneasy as is seen in different parts of the world.”
“The armed forces of the country, who are on general operations in the entire region continue in their hope that they would encounter these girls, as they did thousands of other hostages, rescue and bring them back home,” Buhari added, reported the newspaper. “The issue of the Chibok girls is not a forgotten issue. We cannot go to sleep over this matter. We are optimistic that ongoing efforts will yield something positive.”
Buhari told residents that he is working in several ways to free the remaining girls.
“Unfortunately, an ongoing crisis within the Boko Haram leadership, which has led to factions and breakaway groups, brought a number of unforeseen challenges to the process of negotiating with the militants for the young women’s release,” he acknowledged.
“In the past few years, our armed forces have recorded huge successes in the battle against Boko Haram, but they have also been careful to ensure that as few civilian lives as possible were lost in the process. We would rather the young women still in captivity were freed alive.”
He said some of the freed Chibok girls are also taking part in efforts to find and free the still-missing girls. Buhari’s administration is funding university studies for the freed girls at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), according to The Guardian.