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Search for remaining Chibok girls ongoing, Buratai reaffirms


• CAN accuses govt of condoling criminality for economic motives
• Army kills 27 terrorists, recovers arms in Borno

Five years on, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday reaffirmed that the search by the military for the remaining Chibok girls was ongoing. Delivering the maiden lecture of the Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs of the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State entitled “Military and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria: Appraisal of Nigerian Army Counter-Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Operations”, the Army chief expressed hope for the release of the rest girls and all other kidnapped persons nationwide.He said: “ The Nigerian Army is still searching for all abducted persons in the country, including the remaining abducted Chibok girls. “

Buratai noted that the activities of the Boko Haram sect had been confined to the fringes of Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest, adding that the military had degraded the terrorists in parts of the North East through a systematic campaign with support from sister security agencies and para-military establishments.

About 210 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State were kidnapped by the sect on April 14, 2014. One hundred and seven of them were later released following successful negotiations between the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the abductors.
However, the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the centre was raised to proffer solutions to emerging security challenges confronting most nations of the world.

Besides, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has accused government of tolerating insurgency, kidnapping and armed banditry for economic returns.Briefing reporters yesterday at Government House, Maiduguri after his two-day visit to internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) camps in Borno, the CAN boss stated that were the people in power supervising the various communities, insurgency, kidnappings and armed banditry would have been nipped in the bud.

His words: “To me and to some extent, government allowed them. If the people in power supervise communities. If they are not in support in any way; if they are not benefiting from these criminal activities, they could have nipped them in the bud.”He cautioned against the return of the refugees to their ancestral homes for now, stating that the anti-insurgency war had been won.

Also, the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev Hilary Odilichukwu Okeke, has expressed the belief that the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls, particularly Leah Shuaibu, would regain their freedom, as the clerics are not relenting in their efforts to achieving that.According to him, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has formally involved the Holy Sea – Pope Francis – in the matter. He confirmed that the papacy had reached out to the president on the issue.

The, cleric, who addressed journalists yesterday in Nnewi, decried the seemingly rising spate of idol worship, especially among contemporary Christendom. He advised faithful to shun idolatry in all ramifications.Also yesterday, troops of Section 1, Operation Lafiya Dole and Chadian Defence Forces neutralised 27 terrorists in a coordinated joint military operations in four communities of Borno.

The soldiers also recovered five AK-47 rifles and Rapid Propelled Gun tube bombs each as well as five gun trucks, including several motorcycles used by the insurgents while fleeing from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Operation Yanchin Tapki. Army Spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement in Maiduguri.

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Chibok GirlsTukur Buratai
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