FG can’t put timeline on Chibok girls’ rescue – Osinbajo

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By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday reassured that from the security reports available to the federal government, it was still possible to rescue the 217 girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok Borno State two years ago.
He added, however, that government cannot put a timeline to the rescue of the abducted girls.
Speaking in Abuja at a one-day roundtable on vulnerable people in Nigeria in honour of the Chibok girls and other victims of internal conflicts in the country, Osinbajo cautioned that people should not assume that government was not doing enough to bring back the girls to their families.
He discloled that at every security council meeting that he had attended, President Muhammadu Buhari had always sought to know the fastest way to rescue the abducted girls but because the issue was very complicated, government could not say exactly when it would be achieved.
His words: “At every security council meeting that I have attended, the President has always been concerned about Chibok girls. He thinks of how this can be done quickly.
“But it’s a very delicate issue and we cannot say we can deal with it next week. Every rescue attempt must take the safety of the girls into consideration.”
Osinbajo further informed that “from the security report we get, we will be able to bring back the girls but we must exercise some caution and patience and not sound as if it can be done but it’s not being done.”
According to the Vice President, everything that could be done to rescue the girls was being done with the assistance of international partners, adding that apart from the rescue of the girls, the situation of other vulnerable Nigerians remained the focus of the present administration.
He said in dealing with the poorest of the poor in the country, there seemed to be a problem around the core subject of what the budget should be.
The Vice President stated that government must pay attention to how government programmes were designed as “the soft under belly of our system is that we expose the most vulnerable to the harshest conditions. That’s why the government has come up with intervention programmes including conditional cash transfer.”
He said compiling the list of the poorest in the society had been difficult despite the assistance received from some international agencies.
Osinbajo stressed the importance of a commitment to do it, asserting that “and we must push it.”
According to him, “that intervention must come from government funding of programmes that enable people to do something for themselves and lift them from poverty.”
On education, he remarked that there was very little advocacy around getting all the tiers of government to make more funds available.
He opined that state and local governments must ensure children go to primary school, saying “somebody has to be held responsible for the number of people out of school.”
In an opening address sent in by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, he observed that there had been increase in the use of children as suicide bombers but stressed the determination of government to check the trend.
The NSA assured that government was committed to locating and rescuing the Chibok girls.
Also in her remarks, Ayo Obe of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, regretted that the round table did not offer hope for the rescue of the Chibok girls.
She reminded the administration that its success did not just depend on recovering territories from terrorists but also rescuing the captives and making their lives more meaningful.

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