The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali has insisted that the federal government knew the whereabouts of the over 200 girls abducted in Chibok town of Borno state by members of the Boko Haram sect.
Ambassador Wali told journalists in Abuja yesterday, as monitored on the BBC Hausa Service, that the federal government indeed knows where the girls are being kept, but that government is handicapped because it is not possible to launch a military offensive in order to save the girls, as according to the Minister, such initiative could lead to decimating the abducted girls.
It’s been 147 days since the girls were abducted from their school, with reports of the girls being subjected to various abuses making the rounds while the federal government is yet to decide on rescuing them from their abductors.
The Minister, who spoke shortly after a meeting of foreign ministers on security, pleaded with Nigerians to understand with the federal government in its fight against the terrorists.
“We know the location of the girls but it is not feasible to launch a military offensive in order to rescue them. We must find a way to rescue them without endangering their lives. The sect members will not bother if all the girls get killed while attempting to rescue them” Wali was quoted to have said.
Ambassador Wali maintained that even in the so-called developed nations, it usually takes longer periods to rescue abducted persons, stressing that the federal government has the responsibility to rescue the Chibok girls alive.
On the apparent failure of the support given to Nigeria by some countries towards addressing the prevailing insurgency, particularly with the Boko Haram becoming more adventurous and taking over areas in Borno and Yobe states, Ambassador Wali said terrorism is entirely a different challenge, previously unknown.
“Terrorists can afford to select when and where to attack and as such fighting terrorism is a different ball game. These are people without a sense of order or even the rules of engagement” he explained.
The foreign affairs Minister disclosed that the international community attending the meeting has promised to continue to support Nigeria, its military and other neighboring African countries with a view to finding a lasting solution to insurgency.
This is not the first time the federal government told Nigerians that they know the location of the abducted girls. It would be recalled that in May this year, the Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, revealed that security personnel have located where the Boko Haram members are keeping the school girls, saying the military will not use force to release the girls because of the need to prevent the insurgents from killing them.
“The good news for the girls is that we know where they are but we cannot tell you”, Badeh had said.
Similarly, in July, the National Security Council (NSC) insisted that security agencies know the location of the abducted school girls, while speaking to Statehouse correspondents, shortly after the NSC meeting. In July the federal government has previously told Nigerians that they knew the location of the abducted Chibok girls