President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received three staff of University of Maiduguri in Abuja and 10 women abducted by deadly insurgent group, Boko Haram, last year at Aso Rock, Abuja.
CRISPNG recalls that the women and lecturers were whisked away by Boko Haram in June and July, 2017 before they finally regained freedom on February 10 this year.
While the women were reportedly abducted from a police convoy in Borno state on their way to a burial ceremony, the lecturers were taken hostage while on oil exploration in the Lake Chad basin.
Speaking during the august event, the President revealed that efforts to secure release of the abductees by his administration could not materialize on time as expected by many because the government was dealing with two different terrorist groups involved in the matter.
He however, thanked everyone involved in ensuring those kidnapped were released, assuring that the recently abducted students of Government Science and Technical Girls College, Dapchi, Yobe State would be rescued in like manner.
His words: “This administration has been unrelenting in your rescue and freedom from your captors several months ago. I was terribly saddened by the incident of the abduction of June 20th last year of innocent women and the brutal killing on the spot six others along Damboa road, while heading for the burial of a close one in Askira Uba local government of Borno State.
“The second was the July 26 last year of the abduction of three university staff who were on official mission to explore the possibility of the exploration of oil at the Lake Chad Basin.
“I can assure that apart from your family members, every peace loving Nigerian prayed for your safety and wished for your early release from the hold of your abductors.
“Your rescue on the 10th of February this year was a very huge relief to me personally as well as to all Nigerians.
“Let me say that this government treasures all the human lives particularly that of its citizens and following your abductions, the security agencies were directed by me to do everything humanly possible to ensure the safe release of every one of you and other persons under the hold of the insurgents.
“While government was fully aware of the expectations of your families and the general public for their immediate freedom, the path to your freedom was painstaking and protracted.
“This was because the group responsible for your abduction were not only different but based in different locations that if not properly handled could result in dire consequences.
“I thank all the various security agencies for their professionalism throughout this process, as well as other agencies of government, sister nations in the Lake Chad region, the International Committee of the Red Cross who have contributed to this feat of bringing you all home safely.
“While thanking the security agencies and all those who facilitated this, let me clearly reiterate the resolve of this administration to ensure all persons abducted by the insurgents are rescued or released safely.
“This is especially against the backdrop of the recent incident where another group of girls were abducted on the 19th (of February) from Government Science and Technical Girls College, Dapchi, Yobe State.
“I have since directed all security agencies to immediately ensure that every effort is directed to ensure the safety of our schools and students as well as bringing back the abducted girls to their families.
“Government remains unrelenting towards rescuing all those abducted. Government will also work closely with all stakeholders especially the United Nations and other donor agencies, voluntary organizations towards rehabilitating and resettling all those displaced as a result of all these conflicts, to quicken resumption of meaningful social economic activities.
“I remain very mindful of the pains and injury collectively metted out by the insurgents and we will ensure that government does not leave any stone unturned to degrade and contain these insurgents and ensure that complete peace returns to our land.
“Once again, I am pleased to see that all of you are now free and will soon join your loved ones as well as being fully integrated back into the society.
“Nigerians sympathise with you on your ordeal and wish you welcome back to your families and friends.
“And I suppose the NYSC (National Youths Service Corps) should give a certificate of discharge to the person that spent the remaining of her Service somewhere else (with abductors).