President Muhammadu Buhari says internal differences among Boko Haram fighters is responsible for the delay in the release of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls in captivity.
On April 14, 2014, insurgents abducted 276 students from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno state.
While over 50 managed to escape, government secured the release of more than 100 but many are still in captivity.
In a statement issued on his behalf by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, Buhari told parents of the schoolgirls that “their daughters will never be forgotten or abandoned to their fate, despite four long years since they were taken away by terrorists”.
The president urged the parents to keep their hopes alive on the return of their daughters, noting that the recovery of more than a 100 of the girls that were kidnapped should give confidence that all “hope is not lost”.
Buhari re-affirmed that the government remains focused and determined to see the girls return to their homes, urging the parents to be expectant of more good news in due course.
“We are concerned and aware that it is taking long to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors,” the statement read.
“Unfortunately, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram suffered some unexpected setbacks, owing mainly to a lack of agreement among their abductors, whose internal differences have led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the talks.
“We know that this is not the news parents want to hear after four whole years of waiting, but we want to be as honest as possible with you.
“However, this government is not relenting. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up. Don’t give up hope of seeing our daughters back home again. Don’t lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfill our promise of reuniting you with our daughters. Don’t imagine for a moment that we have forgotten about our daughters or that we consider their freedom a lost course.”
Buhari said as long as he remains the commander-in-chief of the armed forces the Chibok girls will never be forgotten and all will be done to have them reunited with their families.